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BX 9339 .S52 1862 v. 5 
Sibbes, Richard, 1577-1635 
The complete works of 
Richard Sibbes, D.D 

Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2009 witii funding from 

Princeton Tlieological Seminary Library 



TOtlj (SciTcral f rtface 





VOL. V. 


W. LINDSAY ALEXANDEE, D.D., Professor of Theology, Congregational 
Union, Edinburgh. 

JAMES BEGG, D.D., Minister of Newington Free Church, Edinburgh. 
THOMAS J. CKAWFOKD, D.D., S.T.P., Professor of Divinity, University. 

D. T. K. DRUMMOND, M.A., Minister of St Thomas's Episcopal Church, 

WILLIAM H. GOOLD, D.D., Professor of Biblical Literature and Church 
History, Eeformed Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh. 

ANDREW THOMSON, D.D., Minister of Broughton Place United Presby- 
terian Church, Edinburgh. 

©ftwal ffiiitor. 
REV. THOMAS SMITH, M.A., Edinbuegh. 








VOL. V. 



VIZ : — 












EBiNBintoH : 






The present volume contains the whole of Sibbes's remaining 
Expositions and Treatises based upon portions of the Epistles of 
St Paul. The single sermons, from Pauline texts, not already 
included, will be given in Volume VII., along with those from other 
passages of Scripture, all of which it is proposed to place together 
therein. A. B. G. 




Epistles Dedicatory and Prefatory. . . . 3-5 

Notes. ....... 34 


Notes. ....... 54 


Notes. ....... 152-154 


Epistles Dedicatory and Prefatory. . . . 157-160 
Note 173 





1. God's children know what it is to want and to abound 

by experience. ..... 178 

2. God's children know how to carry themselves comfortably 

in any condition. . . . . 178 
A Christian can either want or abound without tainting 

himself with the sins of those conditions. . 179 

3. A Christian is an able man. . . . 181 

Eight use of infirmities. .... 184 

The case of a sin of infirmity lived in. . . 184, 185 

Christianity a busy trade. .... 185 

The trial of a sincere Christian's estate is universality of 

obedience. ..... 185 

What it is to do things evangelically. . . 187 

4. The original of a Christian's estate is in Christ. . 189 

5. We have in Christ, not only a general ability that we 

are able, but we have the very act itself, the deed itself. 190 

The skill to fetch strength from Christ. , . 192 

Notes. ....... 193 






Epistles Dedicatory and Prefatory. 
Notes. . . . . 



247, 248 


Notes ..... 




Notes. . 



The coherence of the text. . . . . .325 


The text divided. 

Christ's death was voluntary. . 

That Christ should die is admirable. 

That Christ rose again as a public person. 

What became of those that rose with him. 

The Spirit in heaven will supply all wants. 

Justice must be satisfied. 

Why we are the Lord's. 

Excellent inferences from Christ's resurrection 

What a Lord Christ is. 

He is a Lord both of quick and dead. . 

God doth all to some good ends. 

Divine ti'uths depend on one another. . 

Christ's Lordship full of security and comfort. 

In the Lord's Supper we have to deal with the Christ, the Lord 

A Christian man's aim good. 

Christ rose to be Lord of the living. 

He died to be Lord of his church. 

And to be Lord of his enemies. 

And to make good what by death he got. 

His lordship eternal both over the living and the dead 

How great a happiness to be under the Lord Christ. 

Comforts against the fear of death. 

We must look to Christ in life and death. 

When we live to Christ. 

Directions for our aiming at Christ in all things 

Helps to live to Christ. 

Divers desire him as Jesus but not as Christ, 

What it is to die to Christ. 

Christ's dying implies duty in us. 

Abilities to do duties part of the covenant. 

A sign to know who is under Christ's government 

Christ's Lordship, assurance of our perseverance. 

What will make us willing to die. 

There is more than an exemplary good in Christ's death 

The scope of Christ's humiliation and exaltation. 

The study of this scope is good. 

By what title Christ is Lord. . 

Divers comforts from this title of Christ's Lordship 

An honour to be under Christ's Lordship. 

It is great security to be under it. 

Christ's Lordship a spring of duties, and that, 

1. One to another. 2. To those that are not Christians 
3. To Christ himself. 
We must give up ourselves to this Lord. 
Christ's Lordship a stop against sin. 
It is also a comfort in affliction. 
Whether Christ by dying merited for himself. 
Christians must be always projecting for his glory. 
Christ's Lordship comfortable in the hour of death. 
Notes. ..... 


330, seq. 

331, 337 

388, seq. 

338, 339 

343, seq. 

347, seq. 

349, seq. 





Shewing — 

That there is a bettei* life than a natural life. . . 360 

The life of faith in our effectual calling. . . . 862 

,, 5, in justification, what it is and how known 363 
,, ,, in sanctification — trials of it. . . 367—371 

,, ,, in glorification — signs of it. . . 373 

Evidence of a man in the state of grace, notwithstanding God 

in desertion appears his enemj'. .... 374 

How to live by faith — 1. In our daily afflictions. . . 375 

2. In sickness of body . . 375 

3. In disgraces and reproaches among 

men. .... 375 

4. In our particular places and calling. 376 

5. For provision and protection in this 

life. .... 377 

6. For our children. . . 377 

7. In prosperity. . . . 378 

8. In God's ordinances. . . 379 

9. In our combats with sin and Satan. 379 
10. So as we may persevere unto the 

end. . . . .380 

Note. ....... 384 


Doctrines : — 

1. That Christ loves some with a superabundant, peculiar 

love. ....... 387 

2. True Faith doth answer this particular love and gift 

of Christ by applying it to itself. . . . 391 

3. That assurance of God's favour doth spring from this 
particular faith. ..... 393 

One may be in the state of grace without this assur- 
ance, especially in the new-birth pangs. . . 395 
Trial of sincerity herein. .... 396 
Why some want feeling and sense of mercy so long. . 397 

4. This particular faith in obedience to Christ, with assurance 
of his particular love, is that which carries us comfortably 

along, even to the day of death. . . . 397 

God's love to us inflames us with love to him again. 399 
A trial of true grace when the reflect act of faith is 

hindered. ..... 400 

Trial of Christ's love to us. . . . .402 

How to know that we have this particular assurance. 404 
In some cases we must be censured by others, not our- 
selves, concerning our condition. . . . 406 

Note. ....... 408 





Epistle Dedicatory, . . . . . .411 

Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. 

The Holy Ghost, why called a Spirit. .... 412 

Why holy 413 

From the apostle's dissuasion, these four presupposed truths — 

1. That the Holy Ghost is in us. . . . 413 

2. And is as a guide to us. . . . . 414 

3. The best of us are apt to grieve him. . . 414 

4. Therefore we should be careful of it. . . 414 
§ 1. Of grieving the Spirit : 

I. What it is to grieve the Spirit ; how the Spirit worketh 

in us. . . . . . . 414 

II. Wherein do we especially grieve the Spirit. 
[1.] In ourselves, and that in these particulars. 

(1.) In walking contrary to and in neglecting of its 
motions and comforts, seeking comfort from the 
flesh. ...... 416 

(2.) By unkindness; the sins of professors, and those 
that have most acquaintance with the Spirit, 
grieve most. . . . . . 417 

(3.) By presumptuous sins; sins against knowledge of 
two sorts ; why voluntary sins are so great, and 
grieve the Spirit so much ; the reason why sins of 
the second table grieve most ; upon divers respects 
the same sort of sins may grieve more and less. 417, 418 
(4.) By worldliness, and paying tribute to the flesh. . 419 

(5.) Abusing spiritual things to our own ends, and 

fathering the works of the flesh upon the Spirit. 420 

(6.) By sins against the gospel ; slighting ordinances. 420 

(7.) By false judgment of things. . . . 421 

(8.) Sins plotted and contrived. . . . 421 

(9.) By not using the helps we have. . . 421 

(10.) Cavilling against the truth. . . . 422 

(11.) By doing duty in our own strength. . . 422 

(12.) Thrusting ourselves into overmuch worldly em- 
ployment; whence. .... 422 

(13.) Omission or slight performance of duty. . 422 

[2.J In many other ways, as — 

(1.) Neglecting the grace in them. . . . 423 

(2.) Sharp censures. .... 423 

(3.) Superiors by unjust commands. . . ; 423 

(4.) Inferiors by intractableness. . . . 423 

(5.) By evil examples. .... 424 

TTT . How we may know when we have grieved the Spirit, 

and what is the danger of it. ... 424, seq. 

How far a child of God may grieve the Spirit. . . 425 

Of the sin against the Holy Ghost, and a twofold mis- 
carriage about it in censuring. . . . 425, 426 

IV. What course we should take to prevent grieving the 

Spirit, in divers rules. .... 426 



[1.] Give yourself up to the government of it. . . 426 
[2.] Subject constantly to the Spirit's motions ; they are 

known from other motions. . . . 426 

(1.) By a special strength in them, by which they are 

raised to higher ends. .... 427 

(2.) By their constancy. .... 427 

(3.) They proceed from a changed heart. . . 427 

(4.) They are seasonable. .... 427 

(5.) A self-evidence in them. . . . 427 

(6.) Orderly, in respect of both tables of the law. . 427 

(7.) Dependent upon God. .... 427 

[3. J Join and co-operate with the Spirit.. . . 427 

[4.] Turn motions into resolutions, and resolutions into 

practice. ...... 428 

[5.] Depend on ordinances, and get a heart suitable to 

them. ...... 428 

[6.] Observe the Spirit's first withdrawing, and search the 

cause. ...... 429 

[7.] Take heed of such sins as we term little ones, and 

look upon all sin in the rise and root of it. . 429 
[8.] Get spiritual wisdom, to know what is pleasing and 

displeasing to the Spirit. . . . 430 

[9.] Upon breaches, renew repentance. . . . 430 

[10.] Avoid corrupt communication. . . . 430 

Whereby you are sealed. 

§ 2. Of the sealing of the Spirit : 

1. Christ is sealed. ..... 433 

2. So are Christians. ..... 433 

I. What this sealing is, and how it is wrought. . . 433 

II. The privileges of it. A seal serveth for — 

1. Confirmation. ..... 434 

2. Distinction. ..... 434 

3. Appropriation. ..... 436 

4. Estimation. ..... 436 

5. Secrecy. ...... 437 

6. Security. ....... 437 

III. Degrees of sealing. 

1. The work of faith. ..... 437 

2. Sanctification, yet not without a new act of the Spirit : 

the reasons. ..... 437 

3. Joy, which hath its degrees also, being from the Spirit. 489 
Of the three witnesses on earth, their order. . . 439 
Of the witness of the Spirit immediately from itself, 

which is the highest, and that which bringeth most 

joy. ...... 439, 440 

Of such joys and raptures of the Spirit, and how they 

are known from illusions, as, 
1 . By what goes before them, as — 

(1.) The word embraced by faith. . . 441 

(2.) Deep humiliation, . . . 441 
(3.) Self-denial. . . . .442 

(4.) Comfort and victory. . . . 442 




(5.) Spiritual strength put forth in duty. . 442 

2. By what accompanieth them ; as — 

(1.) Prizing ordinances. . . . 442 

(2.) Liberty and boldness with God. . . 442 

(3.) And for the most part Satan's malice. . 443 

3. By what followeth them — 

(1.) More humility. .... 443 

(2.) Increase of spiritual strength. . . 443 

(3.) A joyful expectation of Christ. . 443 

4. Other degrees of sealing, from the divers degrees 

of revelation. ..... 443 

Unto the day of redemption. 

§ 3. Of the day of redemption. .... 444 

From the consideration of what formerly hath been spoken, 

some general conclusions are collected. . . 446 

Conclusion I. We may attain to the knowledge that we are 

in the state of grace. .... 446 

All that have faith have not assurance. . . . 447 

Conclusion II. Upon knowledge of our estate of grace for 
the present, we may be assured of our future full 
redemption. - . . . . .448 

Why we pray for forgiveness of sins notwithstanding. . 449 
This assurance we have, that, first, God may be glorified ; 

secondly, our souls comforted. . . . 449, 450 

Conclusion III. This assured knowledge is wrought by the 

Spirit. ...... 450 

Conclusion IV. The sealing of the Spirit unto salvation 

should be a prevailing argument not to grieve the Spirit. 451 

1. To those that are not as jei sealed. . . . 451 

2. To those that are sealed either in a lower or higher 

work of seahng, and that from — 
(1.) Ingenuity. . . . . .452 

(2.) Benefit received from the Spirit. . . 452 

(3.) A kind of necessity. .... 453 

(4.) The nature of love. .... 453 

(5.) And other graces, as faith and hope, that work by 

assimilation. ..... 453 

The doctrine of assurance is no doctrine of liberty. . 454 

But of deep and sweet engagement. . . . 454 

Therefore we should preserve the work. . . 454, 455 

Notes. ,....., 455 


Godliness, what. 

The gospel a mystery, why. 

Religion, why persecuted. 

How to carry ourselves in religion. 

To bless God for mysteries. 

Not to set on them with human parts. 





Mysteries of religion above reason, 

Not to des^Dair of learning religion. 

Not to slight divine truths. 

Godliness a great mystery, why. 

How to be afiected with it. 

To endeavour to learn it. 

Godliness a mystery without controversy 

Men live not worthy these mysteries. 

What truth to account catholic. 

Of God manifest in the flesh. . 

Christ justified in the Spirit. 

Christ seen of angels. . 

Christ preached to the Gentiles. 

Christ believed on in the world. 

Christ received up in glory. 


539, 540 


VOL. Y. 



' The Christian Work' forms a portion of a considerable quarto, published in 1639. 
The ^reTzera^ title-page is given below.* The 'Exposition' of chap. iii. follows this, 
and the other pieces specified therein will appear in their proper places. The 
'Epistles Dedicatory and Prefatory' of the entire volume are herewith prefixed, 






St. Paul to the Philippians : 

Two Sermons of Cliristian watch- 

The first upon Luke 12. 37. 
Also-{ The second upon Eevel. 16. 15. 

An Exposition of part of the second 
Chapter of the Epistle to the Philipp. 
^ A Sermon upon Mai. 4. 2. 3. 

By the late Reverend Divine Richard 
Sibbes, D. D. Master of Katherine Hall in Cam- 
bridge, and sometimes Preacher at Grayes-Inne. 
1 Tim. 4. 8. 
But godlinesse is profitable, having promise of the life that 
now is, and of that which is to come. 


Printed by T. Cotes for Peter Cole,* and are to be sold at the 
Glove k Lyon in Corne-hill, neare the Royall Exchange, 1639. 

* For curious notices of Cole, see the Bibliographical List of the editions of 
Sibbes' different works in the 7th volume. — G. 




Right Honourable — My respects unto you, being your honour's engaged 
many ways, have put me upon a design or project for you; the°God 
of _ heaven graciously prosper it in my hand ! The tenor of it is briefly 
this : to increase your honour, and to ease the burden of that laborious 
government which now Heth upon your shoulder. 

To mention your name before the glorious labour of so great and worthy 
an agent in the factorage of heaven as the author of this piece was, and to 
make you a protector of them, cannot, I conceive, in sober interpretation but 
be conceived to add honour unto him that hath, and cause him to have 
more abundantly. Blessed is the wing that is spread over any of the things 
of Jesus Chi'ist, to shelter them. 

Again, to put into your hand, and from your hand into your heart, the 
remembrance of that God that will gloriously recompense your faithfulness 
in that great trust committed to you, cannot but (by the blessing of him to 
whom blessings belougeth) be a cordial means to strengthen your heart in 
the pang of government, and cause you to travail and bring forth with 
more ease. There is no labour, nor travail, nor sorrow, nor difficulty, nor 
danger, nor death, that hath any evil or bitterness in it when heaven is 
before us, and the truth and faithfulness of the living God embracing us. 

If I have miscarried in point of good manners or otherwise in this dedi- 
cation, your honour shall do but justice to charge your own courtesy and 
respects always shewed unto me (at least in part) with the blame of it. 
Had not there been the tempter, doubtless in this case I had not been the 
transgressor. The God of peace prosper the government of this great city 
in your hand, and make it a glorious rise and advantage unto you of your 
greater glory in the heavens. And your Honour may assure yourself that 
BO it shall come to pass, unless that God that heareth prayer shall reject 
the prayer of, 

Your honour to command in the Lord, 

J. G.f 

* Sir Maurice Abbot was the fifth son of Sir Maurice Abbot of Guildford, Surrey, 
grandfather of Abbot of Farnhara. His more famous brothers were George, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, and Robert, Master of Baliol College, Oxford, and subsequently 
Bishop of Salisbur_y. Sir Maurice was Lord Mayor of London 1639, Drapers' Com- 
pany ; Sheriff, 1627, Family epitaphs still remain on a plate of brass on the south 
wall of the church of Guildford. Cf. Manning and Bray's History of Surrey suh 
•oce ; also Guildhall MSS.—G. ■^' 

t These initials here, and at close of the Epistle to the Reader, in all probabilitj 
represent John Goodwin, the reno%vned champion of Arminianism, It were super- 
fluous to annotate such a name. He died, it is believed, in 1665. Cf Jackson's 
' Life,' one vol. 8yo, 1822.— G. 


Good Keadeb, to discourse the worth or commendations of the author 
(especially the pens of others having done sacrifice unto him in that kind), 
I judge it but an impertinency, and make no question, but that if I should 
exchange thoughts or judgments with thee herein, I should have but mine 
own again. The book itself, judiciously interpreted, is a volume of his 
commendation ; and those, though from his own mouth, without any touch 
or tincture of vanity or self- affectation. The best sight of a man is to hear 
him speak — loquere, ut videam — the tongue being a voluntary and pleasant 
rack to the heart, to make it confess its treasure, whether it be good or 
evO. The diligence and care of those that have interposed for the preserving 
of what came from him in this way from perishing, have made the Christian 
world debtors unto them ; and great pity it had been, that what he spake 
in public should have died in secret, and not be made seven times more 
public than speaking could do. The sparks of such fires as he kindled 
would have been ill quenched till the world had been further served with 
the light and heat of them. 

It is true, heaps of books is one of the oppressions of the world, and the 
invention of the press hath been the exaltation of weakness and vanity 
amongst men, as well as of learning and knowledge. Yet know I no way 
better to retain the oppressed in this kind, than for men of worth and 
grown judgments and learning to appear in books also among the multitude. 
The time was when there were, as the apostle speaketh, ' gods many and 
lords many in the world,' 1 Cor. viii. 5; when the world was pestered with 
devils of all sorts, instead of gods ; but the only means of discharging the 
world of them, was the setting forth and preaching of the one true God 
and Lord Jesus Christ. So the furnishing the world with such books, as 
are books indeed, that breathe spirit and life, and are strong of heaven, 
speaking with authority and power to the consciences of men, is the only 
way to afi"amish the multitude of idol* books, and to have them desolate 
"without a reader. It is, questionless, with men in respect of books, as it 
is in respect of men themselves (and indeed how there should be any 
diflerence between men and books I know not, the book being but the 
mind of a man, and the mind of a man being the man himself). Homo 
homirti Deus, homo Iwmini lupus.\ There are men that are gods to men, 
and there are men that are wolves to men ; and the more men-wolves there 
axe in the world, the more men-gods there had need to be ; otherwise the 
darkness would overcome the light, and make the earth as the shadow of 

• Qu. ' idle,' = useless. — G. Kather ' idol,' in the sense of unreal, false. — Ed. 
t In margin here, ' Animus cuiusquo is est quisque.' — G. 


death. So there are books that are laden with divine and true treasure ; that 
will recompense the reader, his labour and pains sevenfold into his bosom ; 
that will open his mouth and enlarge his heart to bless God, that hath 
given gifts unto men. Again, there are books also that will deal cruelly 
and deceitfully with men, consuming their precious time and opportunities ; 
taking their money for that which is not bread. Now the more dreamers 
of dreams there are, there had need be the more that see visions. The 
weak, hungry, loose, and empty discourses the world is overlaid and en- 
cumbered withal, the more need it hath, by way of a counter recompence, 
of a full provision of solid and masculine writings, that may make men 
men, and not always children in understanding. 

But I must remember that prefacing authors with long epistles is no 
employment of any sovereign necessity. Therefore I will no longer separate 
between thee and that which I desire to recommend unto thee more than 
anything of mine own. The blessing of Him that giveth the increase be 
upon the labour of him that planted and watered much in the courts of the 
house of his God ; that though he be dead, he may yet speak to the edifi- 
cation of thine and of many souls. 

, Thine with a single heart and multiplied affections in the Lord, 

I. G.* 


Christian reader, thou mayest please to take notice that this book is 
divided into two parts : the first whereof is upon the whole third chapter 
of the Epistle to the Philippians, and contains 256 pages ; and because it 
is entire, and upon the whole third chapter, we have therefore put it first. 
The second part is upon some certain verses only of the second chapter to 
the Philippians, and some other texts of Scripture, and contains 204 

Now, for the ready finding out of any principal or material things in the 
whole book, we have to the book annexed this alphabetical index ; for 
the understanding whereof take thou notice, that the first }) signifies the 
part, and the second p the page of that part, as for example : There being 
nothing observed in A, we begin with B, whex'e first thou seest. Christians 
must he blameless, p. 92 ; that is, part the second, page 92 of the second 
part ; then how Saint Paid ivas blameless, tcheii he ivas without the law, p. 1, 
p. 67, 68 ; that is, part the fii'st, page 67, 68 of the first part.t 

* See note to Dedication. — G. 

t As wishing to give all the Prefaces, &c., this prefatory note by Goodwin to 
The Table ' is here inserted ; but ' The Table ' itself will be incorporated with the 
'general Index. — G. 



Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have alivays obeyed, not as in wy presence only, 
but now much m,ore in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and 
trembling. — Phil. II. 12. 

The first word, ' wherefore,' carries our minds back to things formerly 
delivered. Before, the apostle had taught them out of the example of 
Christ that they should not mind their own things : ' He went about doing 
good,' and humbled himself. Now when God is humble, how shall any 
man be proud ? Having therefore such an example as Christ, without all 
exception, as he hath done do you, be obedient, &c. In the words con- 

First, The duty, ' work.' 

Secondly, Directions to the right manner of performing this duty. 

Thirdly, The motives to this duty. 

The manner of performance of this work : First, it must be in sincerity ; 
secondly, in obedience ; thirdly, it must be earnestly and thoroughly ; 
fourthly, it must be constant ; fifthly, it must be ever tending to assure 
to us our salvation ; sixthly, it must be in fear, or holy jealousy. The 
motives to this duty : First, Christ, he was obedient, follow him ; secondly, 
' my beloved,' that is, as you shew or deserve my care of you and diligence 
to do you good, obey ; thirdly, you have done it heretofore : it is no new 
thing I require ; it is not impossible ; you have done it already; fourthly, 
if you do, it shall not be in vain. It tends to the assurance of salvation 
here, and to the accomplishment thereof hereafter, therefore ' work.' 

1. * Work.' The estate of a Christian is a working estate, not idle. 
Christianity is not a verbal profession, nor speculative. ' If ye know these 
things, blessed are ye if ye do them,' saith Christ, John xiii. 17. Observe, 
he placeth the word ' blessed ' in the midst, to unite those two which the 
world so ordinarily divides. I mean knowledge and practice. If words 
would go for excellent payment, many there are that would be admirable 
Christians ; but we must know that a Christian's estate is accomplished by 
works ; and that not only outwardly but inwardly, and by all manner of 
works : works of preparation; works of propriety;* and these inward, or 
outward and all, is in our general or particular calling. 

Works of preparation are those that prepare men to believe ; as hear- 
* That is, 'appropriation.' — Ed. 


ing, reading, meditating ; for these make not a Christian, but by these a 
Christian is prepared to be wrought on by God's Spirit. In these a 
Christian must be still working, and from these he ought to proceed to 
works of propriety : as belief in God, hope more strongly ; love more 
ardently ; pray fervently ; do works of charity cheerfully — the three first 
duties being inward, the two last outward. And these concern our general 
callings as we are Clmstians, and then in our particular callings, to love, to 
reverence one another ; seek the good of others, and to be bountiful to 
others. A Christian he must work in all these. 

Use. The use of all this is, to cause in us a right conceit of religion. Many 
are good talkers, use fair words, are excellent in discourse ; and these pass 
for current Christians. Nay, many there are that come not to this degree 
of speaking well. No ; cannot endure to hear others speak well, but 
endeavour to turn their speech to other matters. Yet these go for good 
Christians, and think they shall be saved as well as the best, when, alas ! 
they never came one step to salvation. Thus for the work. Now, 

2. To the manner. He said before, ' As you have heretofore obeyed, 
even so work now,' shewing the first thing : 

(1.) That all our works must he clone in obedience. Whatsoever we do, it 
must be done in obedience to God. Many are damned for misdoing their 
good works, because they did them not in obedience to God. To this end 
it is expedient. 

First, That we should know what God's will is : Rom. xii. 2, ' That you 
may prove what is that good, that acceptable and perfect will of God,' 
saith the apostle ; and in the Ephesians v. 10, ' Proving what is acceptable 
to the Lord.' And therefore an ignorant man is a rebellious man. When 
he knows not God's will, how can he do his will ? 

Secondly, This obedience must be to all God's laivs, for partial obedience 
is no obedience. For he is a lord, and not a servant, that will cull and 
pick out his obedience. ' Then shall I not be confounded,' saith David, 
' when I have respect to all thy commandments,' Ps. cxix. 6. It is the 
devil's sophistry to put men in heart with the consideration of some few 
good duties that they have done ; when, alas ! if a fowl or bird be catched 
by one wing or leg, it is as sure as if a man had her whole body in his hand. 
The devil hath a man as sure in one sin unrepented as in many ; and there- 
fore the apostle limits not this obedience, but lays it down indefinitely. 

(2.) The second thing in the manner is, that this rcorking must he in sin- 
cerity. ' Whether I am present to see you or not, obey God : he sees you.' 
A Christian must do all things sincerely, as in the presence of God. The 
Pharisees did many good works, but it was to be seen of men. Therefore 
Christ saith, ' they have their reward already,' Mat. vi. 2. I will pay them 
no wages ; they did it not to please me. Many are this way faulty. They 
do nothing but for applause : pray in public for fashion sake, never in pri- 
vate ; whenas Christ saith, * Enter into thy chamber, and when thou hast 
shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret,' Mat. vi, 6, Many can talk 
well and discourse well ; but for inward graces they never look nor regard : 
and it is this that upholds many Christians. They see religion is respected 
of those of whom they desire to be had in some esteem, but God sees thy 
hypocrisy, and thou hast thy reward. 

Joash was a good king so long as Jehoiada lived,* Many seem to be 
good, so long as those in authority are good ; but if they die once, all good 
goes away with them. But a good Christian is ever good ; and in all 
* Cf. 2 Chrou. xxiv. 2.— Ed. 


places, occasions, companies, he will be like himself. Thus much of the 
second thing in the manner. Now for the third. 

(3.) He says, * Work out.' The word signifies, with toil to labour. So 
in the 6th of St John's gospel, ' Labour not for the meat that perisheth.' 
It is a good saying, no perfunctory thing can please God. To this end as 
Seneca says (a), of performing of duties natural ; so in religious duties 
there is required, first, a right judgment of the nature of the things we do ; 
secondly, an aflection to do it ; and thirdly, that affection must be propor- 
tionable to the worth of the things we do, else what do we ; yea, as good 
not do it at all. And therefore the Scripture to every part of God's worship 
adds words of intention : ' Take heed how you hear,' Mark iv. 24 ; 'so 
run,' 1 Cor. ix. 24 ; « pray fervently in spirit,' Rom. xii. 11 ; 'give cheer- 
fully,' 2 Cor. ix. 7 ; ' repent throughly,' Acts xvii. 30. So that our 
affection must be proportionable to the thing we are about, serious in 
good. A thorough serious prayer is worth a thousand perfunctory ; and 
one doctrine well digested and applied, worth all the rest, be they never so 
many, if they be done slightly ; and the rather a^-e we to look to this duty, 
for that the devil is busy in such duties to withdraw thy mind, and to steal 
away the seed sown. The poor husbandman lost three parts of his seed. 
Many feel such flashes of comfort while they hear the word, as they could 
wish they might be dissolved at that present ; but being gone, pleasures, 
profits, and such like, take away and choke the seed sown. Many there 
are that will play or recreate themselves with all their might ; but when 
they come to pray, instead of all their sinful life, think the saying of ' Lord, 
have mercy upon me,' or ' I am a sinner,' or such like, make even all 
accounts between God and their consciences. Those that are and will be 
Christians indeed, they see what they ought to do, and how they are to 
perform duties. They shall find themselves to be no losers, but gainers at 
the end ; for by performing of things in this manner they shall strengthen 
the assurance of their salvation to themselves more and more. For God 
punisheth such sHghting of duties justly, with slight assurance, and with 
many doubtings of salvation and of their secure estate. Well, the next 
thing to be considered in the manner of working is ; — 

(4.) Fourthly, It 7nust he constant, not like the morning dew, or Lot's 
wife that looked back. For religion is a Hving and trade. It must be 
maintained with continuance in labour, and working in a constant course 
of goodness ' all the days of our life,' saith Zacharias' song, Luke i. 75. 
' Father,' saith Christ, ' I have finished the work thou gavest me,' John 
xvii. 4. He never left till all was finished. ' It is finished,' saith Christ 
on the cross, John xix. 30 ; and the apostle, ' I have fought a good fight, 
I have finished my course,' 2 Tim. iv. 7, and then he speaks of ' a crown 
of righteousness,' 2 Tim. iv. 8. The want of this makes many die in 
extreme grief. They wish they had done such and such things, when it is 
too late. To this end we must come with a resolution not to be scared 
from performance of duties, and therefore to furnish ourselves with patience. 
For we must meet with many discouragements from without and within. 
Brethren, saith the apostle, ' you have need of patience,' Heb. x. 36. For 
' you shall reap if you faint not,' Gal. vi. 9. And then consider that all 
promises of a crown are made to such as are sincere. ' To him that over- 
cometh,' saith John, ' I will give,' &c., Rev. iii. 21. ' He that endures to 
the end shall be saved,' saith Christ, Mat. x. 22. Many decay in their 
first love, and God justly suflers them to fall into many gross sins, and he 
vomits up such as are grown cold. 


(5.) The fifth thing in the manner is, that it must tend to salvation. We 
must go on in a constant course of goodness till we come, and that we may 
come,^ to the end of our faith. Let this end, viz., salvation, make you 
work in the duties of grace. For salvation is begun here ; and the state 
of grace here is called salvation, even as well as the state hereafter. 

The doctrine is, that all which we do here ought to tend to the assurance of 

_ We say in nature that all conclusions are to be reduced to their prin- 
ciples. So is Christianity. All is to be referred to our salvation as to a 
main principle ; those things that tend directly to salvation to be done in 
the first place, and most especially. And then other works, they must 
tend the same way, for all works that are good, do either express holiness, 
or increase it in us ; and thereby they increase our own salvation, as in 
our ordinary caUings, if we perform them in obedience to God constantly, 
it expresses the gifts and graces of God's Spirit in us. Do we sanctify 
them by prayer ? Do we refer all the good to the good of those amongst 
whom we live, especially to the good of the faithful ? This strengthens 
the assurance of our salvation, and tells us that God's Spirit is in us. The 
poorest servant in his drudgery, he serves God if he does it as in the 
presence of God, Col. iii. 24. The poor woman, in bearing and bringing 
up of children, shall be saved ; that is, notwithstanding that sentence, ' that 
in sorrow and pains she should conceive,' yet her salvation is no whit 
hindered thereby, but rather furthered. So that it is grace that elevates 
earthly wor-ks, and makes them heavenly. 

But take this caution withal, that we more highly esteem our Christian 
calling than our ordinary vocations and duties ; and to that end we ought 
to redeem some time from our ordinary callings to meditate, and to examine 
ourselves, and to pray. And this to be done daily, for Christ saith, ' Labour 
not for the meat that perisheth,' in comparison of that meat which lasteth 
for ever. Especially on that day which God hath chosen to his own use, 
I mean the ' Lord's day.' Mingle not thine own callings with holy duties 
on such days, unless it be in case of mercy, and that also of great necessity. 
God made this day for his own glory, and for our good, knowing how 
earthly-minded else we would be, unless some time were allotted wholly to 
vindicate our minds from these earthly things. Take heed, therefore, how 
we be bold * on this day especially. 

' Your own.' Here is contained another direction in this Christian work. 
In our works and doings we must begin with ourselves, contrary to the custom 
of many, who are in their own duties negligent, but lord-like in overseeing of 
other men's works. We are to know, true zeal and practice begins at home. 

' Work out your own.' Whatsoever others do, look you to yourselves. 
So did Joshua : ' Let the people do what they will, I and my house will 
serve the Lord,' Josh. xxiv. 15. So that a Christian ought to resolve 
with himself concerning his own carriage ; he that is wise is wise for him- 
self. Better it is that you alone should work out your own salvation, than 
go to hell with others for company. 

' Your own.' Every one hath a cup that he in particular must taste of, 
and every one a particular work to do. Though all go one way that are 
saved, yet some go by more sufferings than others. Some hath harder 
tasks set them to perform than others. Some must live in some callings, 
and therein | work out their own salvation,' others in others. Eph. ii. 10, 
' Every one is created to good works which God prepares for him.' 
* Cf. Eph. iii. 12 ; Heb. iv. 16.— G. Qu. ' cold '?— Ed. 


For the sixth direction, contained in 'fear,' &c., the time is too short to 
speak of; and therefore I come, 

3. To the motives. 

(1.) The first is taken from the examjjJe of Christ, comprehended in the 
■word ' Wherefore.' Christ, he did as he would have us to do ; he did all in 
obedience to God ; he came to do his will ; he was sincere, cared not for 
the world. What he did, he did thoroughly ; he healed all ; did all good ; 
did all things well ; and he finished his course. Now we must imitate 
Christ in all these ; never give over till we may say with comfort at our 
deaths, ' All is finished.' This must needs move us, if we consider what an 
honour it is for us to he like him and to follow him ; and then it will be 
gainful to us. He got honour by it — was exalted ; so shall we therefore be 
like him. And then he is a pattern without all exception. We cannot 
offend so long as we propound him for our example. It is a foolish opinion 
therefore that men may be too religious. Can any go beyond Christ, nay, 
or come near him ? 

(2.) The second motive is taken from, the ajwstJe's love, * my beloved.' 
Shew that you will answer my care and love to you. Whence observe. 

That it ought to be a motive to Christians to take good courses, that 
they may thereby comfort those that have care of their good. The apostle, 
Heb. xiii. 17, bids the Hebrews, ' that they obey them that are their guides.' 
Why ? ' That they may give account with joy, and not with grief, for it is 
unprofitable for them.' But to leave this personal manner of speech. 
Christians ought to seek good courses, to give content to the souls of those 
Christians with whom they live ; for they make it a matter of joy to see 
one grow in religious behaviour, and contrarily are grieved when they see 
it decay in any. 

(3.) The third motive is drawn from the jwssihility of it; as if he should 
have said, You have akead}' begun ; you know what it is I require ; it is no 
new thing, nor is it impossible ; do but work out that which you have 
begun. He that hath set one step into religion is half way. It was a 
great commendation in the church of Thyatira, that their last works were 
more than the first. Rev. ii. 19. We should labour to grow on still, from 
one degree to another, even as the sun ' shines more and more to the per- 
fect day,' Prov. iv. 18 ; and therefore it is a Christian course to compare 
ourselves with ourselves daily, and if we find a decay in ourselves, rest not 
contented till thou findest thyself amended. We pity men when they decay 
in outward things ; but of all decays, the decay of goodness is the most 
lamentable ; and therefore as you have obeyed, so obey still. 

' Now much more in my absence.' These words I take not to be so 
meant, as if the apostle had spoken of what they already had done, but 
rather what he would have them to do, as if he should have said, ' I know 
now that I am absent, you shall want no allurements nor temptations to 
draw 3'ou away ; and I know now I am gone grievous wolves shall enter in, 
not sparing the flock,' as it is in Acts xx. 29, ' therefore now be much more 
careful, and watch.' Hence therefore observe, the want of means that for- 
merly men had is no suflicient plea to excuse decay in grace in any man. 
* Redeem the time.' Why? Not because goodness increases amongst all 
sorts, but ' because the days are evil,' Eph. v. 16. The world would have 
reasoned clean contrary. Because the days are evil, be thou also evil, 
follow the fashion. Religion teaches us to reason otherwise. Because you 
have not the helps you formerly enjoyed, double your diligence ; God will 
graciously supply you. If you be not wanting to yourselves, he will never 


depart from you though I am gone. He was a sanctuary to the Jews in 
Babylon when they wanted the sanctuary ; and yet then were they in 
greatest glory. And it is remarkable, men have been still most glorious 
for religion in want of outward means. 

(4.) The fourth motive is laid down in the end. It is to our salvation ; 
which as it carries the form of a direction, so as it is an end it hath a power 
to move us to it. Considering we are not yet perfect, go on till you come 
to perfection. It is an encouragement to us to begin, and when we have 
begun, it doth encourage us to go on forward. See this in Titus ii. 11 : 
' The grace of God teacheth us to deny ungodliness and worldl}^ lusts, and 
to live soberly,' &c., and encourageth us on, looking for the glorious 
appearing of Christ. We are sons ; shall we be rebellious ? We look for 
salvation ; shall we not then work it out ? Yes. Moses chose rather to 
suffer afflictions with the children of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin 
for a season. Why ? ' He had respect to the recompence of reward,* 
Heb. xi. 26. We have an evidence here [that] we shall be saved hereafter ; 
and this makes us strive to ascertain it more and more to us. And indeed, 
he that carries his salvation in his eye, needs no better encouragement. 
What made them, in Heb. xi. 38, to wander about and to forsake all ? 
They looked for another city, whose builder was God, Thus it is in ordi- 
nary affairs. What seasons war but the hope of peace ? the troubles and 
the tempests on the sea, but the hope of the haven ? the labour and cost 
in sowing, but the expectation of harvest ? Shall not we much more endure 
a little labour here, for endless happiness assured to us hereafter? This is 
much forgotten. What makes persons so dull in good duties ? They either 
know not, or forget this reward ; for he that sets his mind on it cannot be 
cold or dull. But here's the pity ! Men labour, sweat, take pains and 
travail, spare no cost ; and all this to go to hell, to heap up wrath against 
the day of wrath. The devil has more servants in his barren and fruitless 
service than God gets with all his promises and good things that he liberally 
gives. Besides, I add one or two directions more. 

First, Labour to get a jihitform of wholesome ivords. If we would work, we 
must have an idea of the thing we work in our head. We must labour to 
get a form of practice and doctrine out of the word of God, and to carry it 
Btill about with us. 

Then cast thyself into that mould thouhast thus framed, Rom. vi. 17. Be 
moulded in that form of doctrine ; believe what he will have us to believe ; 
love that which he will have us to love. And having this frame in thy 
mind, in what estate soever thou art, whether single or married, governing 
or governed, thou shalt have still with thee a platform of duties, fitting for 
the carriage of thyself ; and there will be no duty thou hearest taught but 
thou wilt be able to draw it to thine own practice. The want of this makes 
most men unfruitful, heaping up thereby damnation unto themselves. 

Lastl}^ Observe the good motions of God's Spirit in thee; further them to 
the most advantage ; turn them to present practice ; lose nor delay them 
not ; for the devil will steal thee away from them. 

Now when we come to another part of the manner of a Christian's work, 
it must be done ' in fear and trembling,' Not to stand on the divers kinds 
of fear; in general, it is an affection planted by God in our natures, whereby 
we, foreseeing dangers which may hinder our being or wellbeing, are 
afraid of them. This is incident to our natures, and it was also in Christ. 
And were it not for this, men would be prodigal of their lives, and would 
rush into desperate dangers. There is a carnal fear, as when we fear the 


creatures of whom we are lords ; and this proceeds from a carnal distrust 
in God. But in this place is meant a spiritual fear, which may be branched 
into three divers kinds. First, a fear of reverence, which is a fear mixed 
with love ; when we fear one or stand in awe of him for his greatness, yet 
love him for his goodness to us ; and thus a Christian fears God. Secondly, 
hence proceeds the second kind of fear, which is a fear of watchfulness ; 
and thirdly, a fear of jealousy, lest we should ofi'end against God ; and 
this arises from the consideration of our weakness and the falseness of our 
hearts. So that he here saying, ' Work out your salvation with fear,' bids 
them that they proceed on in their course with reverence, watchfulness, 
and jealousy. As for the word ' trembling,' it is none other but an effect 
or symptom of the passion of fear, arising from excess of fear in regard of 
fearful objects. For then the spirits retiring in to comfort the heart, leave 
the outward parts destitute, so as they tremble. And on the contrary, in 
objects of delight and comfort, they come outward, to the outmost parts 
as it were, to meet with such pleasing objects as are presented to the 
sense. It being thus in nature, it is also in us spiritually ; for we 
beholding the majesty and power of God, and considering our own base- 
ness and infirmities, are drawn to a kind of fear, which, if it be some- 
what more than ordinary, it produces a spiritual trembling. Having 
thus opened the words, we will come to some doctrine; and first, in general 

Doct. God requires all duties that are done to him to he done with affection. 
The careless Christian thinks the deed done to be sufficient to please God. 
No ; verily he requires work, but it must be done with affection. The affection 
must first be obedient, and then the outward man. ' Thou shalt love the 
Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, and strength, and thy neighbour as 
thyself,' Lev. xix. 18. ' My son, give me thy heart,' saith Solomon, Prov. 
xxiii. 26. I might infer this doctrine to shew how many are faulty this 
way, but I come to this particular affection of fear. All things thai 
are done must be done in the fear of God ; and this must we do before our 
calling and after our calling : before our calling to work ourselves iuto our 
salvation, and in our calling to work out our own salvation. Before our 
conversion fear is necessary for us. God uses it to bring us to Christ. 
Legal fear is always or most commonly before evangelical. It is as the 
needle that draws faith after it as the thread. Such is God's goodness to 
us, that lest we should fall into hell ere we are aware, he hath left us objects 
of terror and threatening judgments, to keep us from hell ; and all to pro- 
voke fear in us that we may be saved. There is a spirit of bondage before 
the spirit of adoption : Rom. viii. 15, 'Ye have not received the spirit of 
bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption,' imply- 
ing that once they had received the spirit of bondage. For verily, first 
men see their miserable estate by nature, and this convincing their con- 
sciences, comes to stir up fear in them, which drives them to the rock of 
salvation, Christ Jesus. I speak this the rather, for that it is evident many 
never yet came to this spirit of fear. They live in a course of known gross 
sins, between whom and damnation is but a step. They know they are 
abominable sinners, yet fear not hell. How can men think well of such ? 
They never yet came to the spirit of bondage to fear. Tell them of hell, 
they tush at it scornfully, being herein more brutish than an ass. Lay 
burdens on him, he will bear them patiently ; but press him never so much 
to go into the fire, you cannot make him come near to it ; whenas wicked 
men, they cannot be kept from running into hell with all violence. They 


are worse than the devil, James ii. 19. They neither tremble nor believe, 
but live contemptuously and pi'esumptuously in their courses. Well, let 
such look to it. What they do now they shall do it hereafter, when there 
will be no comfort left for them, though they seek it with tears. 

Thus have I shewn that before conversion fear is necessary. I add, 
moreover, that men after conversion, believers, they ought to have fear oif 
reverence ; wherein we will speak somewhat of fear in general ; then of the 
manner of it ; and lastly, of the motives thereto. For the fear that here is 
spoken of observe that, 

First, It must he f/eneral at all times, in all actions. Job said, ' I feared 
all my works,' Job iii. 25, and indeed in this estate we must continually 
fear till we be in heaven. And as it belongs to all works and times, so to 
all Christians, nay, and to them most of all, for that the devil is set 
against you. And your actions, if they be ill, are the most scandalous ; 
and by them is God most of all dishonoured. And therefore the more 
grace a man hath he will fear the more. Even as a rich man, the more 
riches he hath the more care he taketh, lest they should be stolen from 

Secondly, This fear must be serious. It must work a kind of trembling, 
by reason of the dangers that we meet withal, which are like to be many 
and great. 

Thirdly, This fear must he total, in the whole man. For that the image 
of God is in the body, even as in the soul, and as in other afiections a 
proud man is known by his proud eye and careless carriage, even so the 
countenance will be wray whether the heart be humble, loving, careful, and 
the like. It is an idle speech that many have, they will say their heart is 
good. Let such know, where grace is, it works a change, and that thoroughly 
in body and soul. David therefore joins prostration with calhng on the 
Lord : Ps. xcv. 6, ' Let us fall down ; ' and in other places, casting up of 
the eye, and extending of the hands.* 
Means to this duty ; observe, 

[1.] First, We must consider GocVs love to us. It is the first and main 
thing in reverence. This will breed fearfulness in us ; for the more assured 
we are, the more fearful will we be of ofiending. 

[2. J Secondly, Set before your eyes the other attributes of God, as his 
jmtice. What though it be true, he revenges not the sin of his children, 
so as it were better for him that he had not offended, for he will not suffer 
sin to dwell in his children. 

[3.] Thirdly, Add the examples of those that have felt his justice, especially 
of the best servants of God. Moses, for a few words, never entered the 
land of promise. David, for a proud conceit in numbering the people, 
lost seventy thousand men of the pestilence. The Corinthians, for un- 
worthy receiving of the Lord's supper, many of them died. And if it be 
thus with his dearest children, have not we cause to fear? Yes, assuredly. 
God will be honoui-ed in all those that come near him. 

Obj. It will be said that there are no examples of late of God's justice 
in this kind, as to strike with sudden death. 

A71S. I answer, true. But God strikes with hardness of heart, which is 
far more worse. And God doth strike men with temporal judgments, 
although they think not of it, even for those sins they think not of. And 
if it were not thus, let such men know there is a judgment to come, and 
that God is the same God now that he was ever, a powerful, just, and all- 
* Cf. Ps. cxlv. 15 and Ps. xxviii. 2 ; Ixiii. 4.— G. 


seeing God. And it will make them, if they belong to God, to set them- 
selves in the presence of God even in their most secret closets. This is, 
notwithstanding, forgotten everywhere. And many sins are committed 
which sinners would be loath that a child should see, yet are they not 
afraid of God, that sees them and sets them down in a book. Well then, 
a Christian after conversion ought to fear with a fear of reverence. 

It follows, in the second and third place, a Christian must have a fear of 
jealousy and watchfulness, and thus ' work out his salvation.' For by this 
means we keep ourselves from displeasing God, it being a carefulness 
wrought in us by the Spirit of God, causing us to take heed how we offend 
God in any thing. For a Christian, linowing the falseness of his own heart, 
is jealous thereof, there being a spiritual marriage between Christ and us, 
lest it should offend. And this is the ground of this spirit of jealousy, 
and therefore none deceives another, but he also deceives himself; for 
his corrupt heart is as a traitor in his own bosom. Another ground is 
Satan, that ever joins with our corruptions ; for so long as there is a false 
heart there will be a fawning devil. Now this should make us to examine 
ourselves, and to fear our hearts, and to 'try our thoughts,' Ps. cxxxix. 23, 
before they come out into word or action.* For sin is like Elijah his cloud, 
at the first small, but afterward covers the whole heaven. See it in David. 
One eye-glance ! What a world of sins followed. And therefore we must 
take heed of beginnings. And then look that thoudrawest not the guilt of 
other men's sins on thyself. Take heed of ' scandal. 'f See how Jeroboam 
is branded ; ever mention being made of him, ' Jeroboam that made Israel 
to sin,' 1 Kings xiv. 16. Then again, labour to set thy corruptions in thine 
eye continua%, and to stir up our hearts to hate them. For they trouble 
us more than the devil, although most men study to gratify their enemy, 
and how to satisfy the lusts of the flesh. And who are their enemies but 
such as tell them and bid them beware of their enemies ? Now to the 

VEKSE 13. 

For it is God that uvrketh in you to icill and to do according to his good 


It is as much as if he should say, because God works, therefore work 
you, lest he should take both the power of working from you and also the 
act. For he gives both 'to will and to do,' not only the power to will and 
to do, but the very act of willing and doing ; and this he doth out of his 
free grace and pleasure. In the opening of which words, observe with me 
these things. First, that a Christian hath a power in him to will and to do 
good ; secondly, that God works this in him ; thirdly, this work is a power- 
ful work ; fourthly, it is an inward work ; fifthly, this work is entire ; 
sixthly, observe how this work is a ground of fear and trembling. 

1. For the first, that a Christian hath a will and power to do good, this 
is necessary. For in all estates, whether a man be good or bad, his will 
is the chief; and therefore, in conversion of any one, the will and judgment 
is first wrought upon and converted. And therefore this may be noted to 

* Consult Dr Faitliful Teate's searching and quaint treatise ' Eiglit Tlioughts 
the Righteous Man's Evidence : a Discourse proving our estate, God-ward, to be as 
our Thoughts are. Directing how to tri/ them and ourselves by them,' &c. 12mo, 
1669.— G. 

t That is, of being a ' stumbling-block. — G. 


shew us our estates, wliether we be good or not. If we be good, we will 
that which is good, and choose the better part ; for those that choose the 
worst ever are opposite to the best. Their estate is naught, let them 
boast what they will. The Christian thex'efore ever hath a will to do, 
though many times he doth not what he will, being sometimes (for secret 
causes best known to God) kept by him from performing their wills. 
David would have built a temple, and Abraham would have sacrificed 
Isaac, Other times hindered by corruptions. The will, or to will, saith 
Paul, is present, but not the deed, Rom. vii. 18 ; and Christ saith, ' The 
spirit is ready, but the flesh is weak,' Mat. xxvi. 41. If we do therefore 
any good, the deed is God's. If we will it, the will is God's. And then 
we please God when we will that which God wills, and not when we do 
that which God wills not. 

2. Secondly, This power that we have, ive have it not from ourselves, but 
God gives it to us. Some things are done for us which were neither wrought 
by us nor in us ; and thus Christ's death was wrought. Some things 
wrought in us, not by us, as our first work of conversion. Other things are 
wrought both in us and by us, and these are all good works after conver- 
sion. This will whereof we speak is wrought in us by God, as we be his 
temples, and the deed is wrought by us as instruments of God's working 
in us. Thought is not so much as will, it being but a way to it. Yet can 
we not think a good thought without the Spirit of God working in us. For 
we have no life at all, but are 'dead in sins and trespasses,' much less can 
we have any motion to that which is good for ourselves. 

Quest. But it will be demanded, how can the work be done by God, and 
yet we work the same work ? 

Ans. I answer, in every work that is done, there is God's power and 
man's joined together. But how ? So far as we think or will, it is from 
us, but to think or will that which is good, that is from God. We work 
not as horses draw together and equally. We are not co-ordinate, but 
subordinate. We work as understanding creatures. But God guides our 
understanding to this or that as he pleases. We hear, but God he bores 
the ear first. Lydia believed, but God opened her heart, and framed it to 
believe. Acts xvi. 14. We think, but God gives us to think well. 

3. In the next place we are to shew, that this work of God in us is a 
powerful work. It determines our will. God deals not per omnipotentiam to 
constrain our wills to this or that which is contrary to the will, but he 
gives us to will that which he wills. Now when God intends that man 
shall do anything, he gives him a will to do it ; and in this respect his work 
is powerful in us. Magnify therefore this power, that preserves us in the 
midst of temptation, even as it preserved the three children in the fire from 
burning, Dan. iii. 27 ; that makes earth to be in heaven ; and labour to 
find experience of this power in thee, the want of the sense whereof brings 
much want of inward comfort of God's Spirit. 

4. In the next place, note that this work is inward within us, not without 
us. He uses exhortations, monitions, allurements, but he puts power to 
these to prevail: Fortiterpro te, suav iter pro me, Domine, saith the Father (h.) 
For God may vioxkfortiter, strongly, and yet liberty be preserved too, as it 
is evident in the angels. For freedom consists not in doing this or that 
ad libitum as we say ; but then are we free and at liberty, when we do any- 
thing out of a sound judgment. The angels see good reason why they 
should depend on God, and man seeing that happiness only lies in the 
enjoyment of the favour of God, do voluntarily depend on him. God there- 


fore enters into the heart, changes the stony heart into a heart of flesh, 
takes away all rebellious dispositions of our heart, and makes them pliable 
to his will. 

5. Come we in the next place to consider the perfection and entireness of 
this work. God, he is ' Alpha and Omega, the author and finisher of our 
faith,' Heb. xii. 2, and the beginning and perfection of every good thing is 
from him. Omne honum, a summo Bono ; and therefore he is the cause of 
the not doing of that which is not done ; he is cmisa quiescendo, as well as 
agendo. For why is a thing not, but because he gives it not a being ? So 
that all the ill which we will not, is of him. We should therefore be as 
thankful to him for any sin he keeps us from, as for any good that he causes 
us to perform ; for there is not any sin that another hath committed, but 
if God had pleased I might have committed. This is an excellent point to 
teach us humility. Note therefore hence, 

Doct. That perseverance is from God. He gives to will and to do. 'He 
that hath begun will finish the good work,' saith the apostle in the first of 
this epistle, and the sixth verse. It is not in our strength to hold out ; for 
after we are once changed, God gives grace sufficient to restrain us and to 
hold us up. God deals not with us as the husbandman does, sows the 
ground and leaves it. No. God watches and weeds us, and continues his 
labour upon us, till he brings us to the end of his promise. If he uphold 
us not, we are ready to return to our first principles again. 

Use. This enforces a particular and resolute dependence on God, in full 
assurance that what he hath promised, he will perform. He will put his 
fear into our hearts, so as we shall not depart from him. 

Doct. And this is done freely of his own good })ieasiire ; and thus he doth 
all things. Not of necessity ; he is not forced to this or that, either by any 
foreign power, or internal ; he is not bound to this or that, as fire burns 
necessarily : as the school saith, necessitate nature.. Indeed, he is good 
necessarily, for it is his nature ; but in his acts he is free from all manner 
of compulsion, for none can compel him, neither is he drawn to this or 
that by any merit in us, for we merit nothing but destruction. It was 
his own will that he made any creature at all ; that he ranked them into 
angels and men ; that he passed by the angels, and redeemed man ; to give 
means of salvation to some and not to others ; to make the means efiectual 
to some and not to others ; that some are called sooner, some later ; some 
have more strength, some less ; to some more comfort, some less; and to 
those that have more, to give more at some time and less at other times, 
as is his free will. What meritorious disposition can there be in a dead 
person, as the apostle saith we are ? Oh, but it will be objected that one 
grace deserves another; and God giving us, for example, the Spirit of 
prayer, we deserve the thing we prayed for. I answer, nothing less. God 
indeed uses this order, but hereby do we not deserve anything. God says, 
' Ask, and it shall be given,' Mat. vii. 7. But how,? Not by desert in 
praying ; but he hath established this order, that men shall ask before we 

Uses. (1.) Hence have ive a ground of thanlfidness to God. 

(2.) Secondly, tcdce not offence thongh thou seest thou hast less grace than 
others have. All are not strong ; some are babes ; and it is God's will it 
should be so, even as there are divers degrees in ages. If thou beest in 
any esteem with Christ, thank God for that thou art. I speak the rather, 
being* many are vexed because they are not so holy and pure as such are 

* = 'because.' — G. 


to whom God hath given a large portion of the grace of his Spirit. No. 
God gives according to his good pleasure. 

(3.) Despair not therefore. If thou wantest grace, go to God for more. 
He gives according to his own good pleasure. Many complain they are 
sinners, dead, dull, indisposed. Go to God. He gives sharpness of wit 
to the dull, but according to his good pleasure. More hurt and hindrance 
comes ordinarily from the abundance of God's gifts of this sort than good. 
For it may be God sees thou wilt be hereby lifted up and extolled, as Paul 
was ; and therefore for thy good he withholds it from thee. Vex not thy- 
self therefore for the want of that which, if thou hadst it, would turn to thine 
own bane. 

Take heed how thou insultest over others, that as yet are not wrought 
upon. It may be their hour is not yet come ; and therefore use thou all 
means to do good to ^uch as stand in need. God appoints times and seasons, 
when and what means he will bless. Thou mayest be the instrument to 
convert thy brother. 

And above all take heed of self-conceit. God gives thee all, and if it be 
not of or from thyself, wliy shouldst thou boast, or be hfted up ? Be 
therefore content, and repose thyself on God. What though perchance 
thou wantest outward means and worldly riches ? Pass* not for them. 
Thank God that he hath wrought a spiritual change in thee. He hath 
given thee the main. I am sure thou wouldst not change thy estate for all 
the riches in the world, nor pomp and pride thereof. And if thou findest 
a decay of the sense of God's love and favour towards thee, seek it of him, 
but with submission. What if thou findest an ebb of goodness in thee ? 
and that it is not with thee now as formerly it hath been, that thou art more 
easily overcome with temptation, and that thou canst not wrestle as once 
thou couldst against thy corruptions ? Know, God he gives his power to 
work and fight, as his pleasure is. God by suffering thee thus to be 
foiled, tells tliee that the work is not thine own, but his, and that he gives 
and bestows increase as he pleases. Take notice therefore of these things. 
Thus far have we spoken of the words simply considered. 

Now, let us come to them, as they have relation one to another, and 
particularly of the force of the reason. * God gives the will and deed, 
according to his own good pleasure :' therefore fear, and take heed how thou 
neglectest the means. Fear exaltation of spirit, and trust not on outward 
means. David, that holy man, he had a touch of this : Ps. xxx. 6, ' I said 
in my prosperity, I shall not be moved.' Fear how thou vowest anything 
in thine own strength in time to come ; for in that St James gives a good 
instruction, * You ought to say, If the Lord will,' iv. 15. Submit thyself 
to him, for he gives the power ' to will and to do, according to his own 
good pleasure.' 

Boot. It ought therefore [to] be an encouragement to a Christian to work, 
when he considers that God ivorhs the will atul the deed, according to his good 
pleasure. That God is willing to give ' the will and the deed ' in obedience 
to his ordinance, will make a Christian confident in every good work; and 
therefore, to that end, he must learn to know God's will, as favourites in 
court they learn to know what will please the prince, and accordingly they 
fashion their behaviour. And when we know his will, then come boldly to 
him for to desire strength in doing his will. For he hath made us gracious 
promises, ' to take away our stony hearts, and to give us hearts of flesh,' 
Ezek. xi. 19, and ' to lay no more on us than we arc able to bear,' 1 Cor. 
* That is, ' pause.'— G. 

VOL. V. B 


X. 13. Let us repair to him for the accomplishment of these promises and 
others. Take heed how we distrust his promises. It made the Israelites 
travel forty j^ears, till all the generation of them perished, and entered not 
into that good land. God hath promised us, not an earthly inheritance, 
but an heavenly, and victory over our sins. Let us then set on this con- 
quest boldly and with courage, for God hath made himself our debtor by 
his promise, and he is faithful that hath promised : where, by the way, 
observe the difference between our estate in the ' first,' from this present 
estate of ours in the ' second Adam.' The first Adam had no such promise 
to continue in that estate of integrity. But we have. We are assured. 
We are united to Christ more surely than he was to his estate in paradise. 
Magnify, therefore, this condition of thine. And in the fourth place, labour 
to know aright the nature of the covenant of grace ; for it is a part of his 
covenant with us, that what he enjoins us he will enable us to perform. 
' If we beheve, we shall be saved,' saith the covenant. Well, God, he gives 
ns to believe, he bids us to repent, he gives us power to repent. The 
commandments which are given us concerning faith and repentance, and 
the like graces here, they shew the order that God uses in saving man. 
* To you,' saith Christ, ' it is given to know and believe,' Mat. xiii. 11. 
This ought, therefore, to comfort us, seeing this covenant of grace is, not 
only a covenant which requires duties of our parts, but also it is a testa- 
ment wherein these graces are given us in way of legacies. If we knew 
the privileges that in this covenant do belong unto us, it should surely make 
us bold. God promises the will and deed, that we may apply these things 
unto ourselves ; which if we do, we may go about our works with resolu- 
tion, that they shall be prosperous to us : our labour shall not be in vain 
in the Lord. In reverence, therefore, use all means. Trust not on the 
means, but use them in reverence and in fear ; and hereby thou shalt avoid 
many corrections, which otherwise thy sins will draw on thee. For the 
difference in the performance of duties makes the difference of Christians. 
Some are more careless in their performances than others. Is it not just 
with God to punish such, by letting them fall into many gross sins ? See 
this in David and Peter. They trusted to themselves, and called not on 
God for his gracious direction in temptation. Mark their sins. Observe 
what comfort they lost. And surely those that are watchful Christians are 
ever careful of their rules ; and God to such gives what he requires of them. 
He sends us not to seek straw ourselves as Pharaoh, Exod. v. 7 ; but he 
provides it to us. 

Ohj. But it will be objected that, by this doctrine of trusting and relying 
on God, men will grow idle. God will work his will in us though we sleep, 
say they. 

A7-1S. But to answer them. First, such men as these will be ashamed 
to argue thus in outward and worldly businesses. For example, in hus- 
bandry, God hath promised every good thing to us ; therefore, let me sit 
Btill : the corn will grow, though I sow not nor till the ground. Would 
not such an one be thought mad, that should reason thus ? Because we 
know that as God hath appointed every end, so he hath ordained order and 
means, whereby such things shall be effected. Thus is it in grace. He 
gives ' the will and the deed,' but he prescribes prayer and other ordinances, 
as the means attaining to this will, for we have it not of ourselves. And 
therefore he bids us hear, read and meditate, watch, and such like, and 
depend on God for a blessing in the use of the means he appoints us. Do 
that which is required of you. God will do that [that] belongs to him. He 


will give * the will and deed.' Christ he knew that the Father loved him and 
would honour him, but yet he prays, * Father, glorify thy Son,' John xvii. 1. 
So in sickness, to whom God purposes and decrees health, he shall do well. 
But how ? Without means ? No. They must use advice of physicians, as 
one of God's ordinances. Thus is it with our souls. We are all naturally 
sick and dead. God hath predestinated some to live. But how ? ' Faith 
comes by hearing,' Rom. x. 17. He must be conversant still in the use of 
means appointed to that end. But the comfortless and weak soul will say, 
* Alas ! I use means, yet feel I no grace ; I am not the better.' To such 
I say, ' It may be thou art not so instant and urgent in the use of the 
means as thou mayest and should be.' And secondlj', thou must not 
measure thyself by thy will ; for a Christian's will is ever beyond his 
ability, tending still to that perfection which they cannot come to in this 
world. Rich men that are covetous think themselves poor, and still desire 
more. ' I know thy tribulation and thy poverty, but thou art rich,' saith 
the Spirit to the church of Smyrna, Rev. ii. 9 ; and therefore discourage 
not thyself. God is faithful. Use the means, and depend not on the 
means ; but depend on God in the use of the means, else thou shalt find 
but little comfort. And if thou findest thy afiections any whit enlarged to 
good duties, and lifted up, and cheered in the performance of them, and 
art glad that thou art not so conversant in sinning as formerly thou wert, 
but that thou makest a conscience of thy ways, thank God and give him 
the glory, and abase and humble thyself. David was much conversant in 
this. ' Blessed be the Lord, that hath kept me from shedding of blood,' 
saith he to Abigail, 1 Sam. xxv. 32, 33, seq. And his psalms are full of 
praises and thanksgiving. And if thou hast any good motions in thine 
heart, practise them with all speed, and strengthen them. 

VERSE 14. 
Do all thintjs idtliout miirmurin[fs and disputinys. 

This, verse contains a new precept of Christian modesty, enforced by 
removing of contraries. ' Murmuring ' is well known among us, it is so 
ordinarily practised of us. It arises from discontent against God or one 
another, breaking into words, works, disputings ; whereby one endeavours 
to defend that with reasons which in the heat of his affections passed from 
him, lest he should be thought inconsiderate and rash. But to come to 
the particulai's, consider with me,Jirst, the kinds of it ; secondbj, the causes 
of it; and thirdhj, the cure and remedies of it. For the kinds of it, it is 
either against God or against man. 

First, Against God. Man since the fall quarrels with his Maker. 
Whenas heaven and earth must be judged by him, man thinks this unequal, 
and therefore he first vmrmureth against God-s counsels and decrees. God 
he appoints some to this, others to that. This is unequal, saith the proud 
man ; all of us are alike, saith he ; I am as good a man as another. ' Who 
art thou that contendest with God ? ' Rom. ix. 20. Remember thou art 
clay, and God is the potter ; he hath power to make one vessel to honour, 
another to dishonour, Rom. ix. 21. God's decrees are divine and above 
thy reach. If that men could apprehend them by reason, then they were 
not divine. Lay thy hand therefore on thy heart, and cry, ' the depth 
of the counsels and wisdom of God,' Rom. xi. 33. Shall not we give him 
leave to do what he will, whenas he is the just Judge of all the world ? 
Can he do any wrong ? 


Second, It is usual with natural men to murmur against GocVs providence, 
in doing better to some others than unto themselves. They think themselves 
much wronged when they see some others rich and have all, whereas they 
themselves are poor ; and this sin is many times found in the children of 
God, in David, Job, Habakkuk, ' Why do the wicked prosper?' They found 
fault withT'the wicked's prosperity, till they went into the sanctuary of the 
Lord. There they found the end of such men, Ps. Ixxiii. 17. Therefore 
judge not of any but by his end. Think not all things run round, because 
thou seest no reason thereof, for God's wisdom is unsearchable. Observe 
the sweet end, issue, and event of all things. Princes they have arcana 
imperii. Shall not we suffer God to eujoy such privileges ? Can we endure 
that our servant should knov/ all our counsels and minds ? Let us there- 
fore yield to God liberty in that which belongs to him ; yield glory, who 
disposes all things sweetly. 

A third thing which men often murmur at is God's ordinance in magis- 
tracy and ministry. Such men, they think God is not wise enough, but 
they will teach him whom he shall advance to high place, and whom not ; 
and thus they despise not only the magistracy, but God himself. * They 
have not cast thee off, but me,' saith God to Samuel concerning the people, 
1 Sam. viii. 7 ; and indeed what are they but lawless and wild persons, 
that cannot away with order ? They will have none to overrule them ; or, 
if they be content for shame to admit thei'eof, yet nolumus hunc regnare, 
Chi'ist must not rule over them, nor this nor that man. But know, who- 
soever thou art, that all power is from God, and he will defend his own 
ordinance against all such as malign it. Ministers are not free from mur- 
murers. How many have we that think it tedious to attend on God at 
public service ! how many that think and are not ashamed to say they 
can profit more in their private studies ! and that this observation of the 
Lord's day causeth them to lose a whole year in seven !* Ay, but consider, 
God justly curses thy calling whenas thou makest them a stayt to good 
duties. It is also thus in families ; wife murmurs against husband, and 
husband against wife, blaming themselves in that ihey matched v^ith such, 
whenas they think they might have done better vv'ith others. No. Thou 
couldst not have done better. God he hath decreed this, and his decrees 
are not to be blamed. Servants also are troubled with this disease. They 
murmur against their masters, and learn to dispute with them ; and there- 
fore St Paul wills servants to count their masters worthy of all honour, that 
the word of God be not blasphemed. Tit. ii. 5. And that they do not con- 
tend in ' answering again,' verse 9. It is also much in children against 
parents, and likewise parents against children ; so that this sin reigneth 
over all estates and degrees. Take notice therefore hereof, that thou beest 
not overtaken in it. 

Causes of murmuring. 

1. The first cause of murmuring is ignorance of God's particular providence ; 
his excellency and thy baseness. Job when he came to see the glory and 
power of God, then said, 'I abhor myself, I will dispute no more,' Job xlii. 6. 
If we did likewise consider of his majesty, power, wisdom, and goodness, 
would we contend with our Maker ? Consider this in thine own cause, 
■will any of us endure a murmuring servant ? shall we think it is reason in 
us, and that God must notwithstanding suffer with patience our murmur- 
ings and disputations with his sacred Majesty, who is justice itself, and is 
not bound to render account of his actions to any. 
* In margin liere, ' Men murmur against men.' — G. t Tliat is, = ' hindrance.' — G. 


2. The second cause of murmuring in us is self-love. Man thinks him- 
self worthy of all honour, never considering his weakness and infirmities. 
Moses was very meek ; he gave no cause to Dathan and Abiram, and the 
rest, to provoke them to murmur. God yet having set them in some place 
in the congregation, they were so lifted up with desire of honour as they 
were too good to be governed, Numb. xvi. 3. Thus is it with every one of 
us. We willingly pufi' up ourselves in our own conceits of self-sufficiency, 
and hence arises discontentedness, when we think G-od is not so good to us 
as our merits do deserve. We look on those good things that God hath 
given us, we think not of our infirmities. Hence it is we are never thank- 
ful for that we have, but desirous of that which we have not. Hence also 
arises unfruitfulness, for such look for greatness, but never or seldom to 
do good with that they have, whether power, or riches, or such like. 

Cures for this. 

The cures of this disease consists partly in meditation, and partly in 
practice. First, labour to have a right understanding and knowledge of God's 
justice tvithout all exception. Secondly, that he is infinitely good, disposing 
all for the benefit and good of his own children. TJdrdly, labour to knoir 
and observe his particular providence to these baser creatures, as that the hair 
falls not without his providence, and that he regards the sparrows, Mat. x. 
29. These will make us practise these things. First, in justifying God in 
whatsoever is done and decreed, as David, Ps. cxix. 137, ' Just art thou, 
Lord, and holy, and righteous are thy judgments.' This was Eli his 
practice, 1 Sam. iii. 18 : 'It is the Lord,' said he. And Hezekiah, ' the 
word of the Lord is good,' 2 Kings xx. 19 : and in the 39th Psalm, David 
held his tongue, ver. 1.* The reason he renders, 'It is thou, Lord, who 
art good, and dost all for good.' Therefore learn a holy silence as David 
leads us, 62d Psalm ver. 1 : ' My soul waiteth on God with silence,' for so 
is the signification of the word (c). Thus did Aaron : though his sons were 
destroyed, ' yet he held his peace,' Lev. x. 3. And when thou findest any 
discontented thoughts to arise in thine heart, check thyself in the beginning, 
Ps. Ixxiii. 22: 'So foohsh and like a beast am I,' saith David; and ' why art 
thou disquieted, my soul ? and why art thou troubled within me ' ? Ps. xlii. 5. 
And examine ourselves : Is it fit that God should answer me ? is he not 
wiser than I ? ' What am I '? ' Am I not wicked, dead, dull ? Have not I 
infinitely displeased him ? Let me judge myself, that he may not enter into 
judgment with me. What though God hath not heard my prayers ! I have 
not hearkened to him when he called me ; he may justly neglect me, I have 
neglected him. Yet hath he been wonderfully good to me ; I have received 
much good from him, and no evil ; he hath often spared and doth now spare 
me ; his corrections are gentle and loving, above that we deserve. In his judg- 
ments his mercies are great : ' It is his mercy that I am not consumed,' Lam. 
iii. 22. Propound to thyself the example of Christ. He suifered more than 
we do, when there was no ill found in him. What says he? ' Not my will, 
but thine be done,' Luke xxii. 42. Indeed, we may wish afilictions to be 
removed as grievances, but joining them with the will of God, then our will 
must give place to his. Eesign thyself into his hands. It is God that 
will have it thus with me ; and therefore take and bear with meekness. 
And as Paul did, also pray that the will of the Lord may be done. Let his 
wisdom be thine, his will thine. And why ? It will be so; it shall be so; 
* Cf. the pungent and admirable treatise of John Brinsley ' rAfl220-XA AI'- 
NHSIS ; or, a Bridle for the Tongue,' &c., 1GG4, 12mo, notio be confounded with his 
' Stand-Still ; or, Bridle for the Times,' 1647.— G. 


subject thyself therefore to it. Though we behave ourselves as stubborn 
horses, he will tame us and overrule us well enough ; he is too mighty for us. 
Our stubbornness is the ground of all our crosses and afflictions ; for if we 
will not easily be brought in, God, that out of his mercy chose us, will bring 
us in to yield. For he will have his will in us, or of us. He will glorify 
his justice upon us, if his mercies will not work. Lastly, consider the 
greatness of this sin, to whet us on to the duty enjoined. Though we 
seem to murmur only against men, we murmur against God ; for what 
saith he to Moses ?* ' They have not cast off thee, but they have cast off me,' 
1 Sam. viii. 7. God takes part with those in authority, as Moses was. 
For there is no contempt of man, but comes from a contempt of God. 
The breaches of the second table do spring from the breaches of the first. 
Observe also, this sin hath ever been grievously punished, it being a sin 
that pulls God out of his throne, and makes men dare to teach God how to 
rule. It robs God of his worship, fear, trust, reverence ; for it proceeds 
from^ the want of them ; and lastly, it brings with it great unthankfulness, 
making men forget all God's goodness bestowed on them. 

' Disputing or reasoning.' 

It issues from murmuring. For when we are come to that pass that we 
murmur, lest men should think us rash in doing it without cause, we then 
endeavour to defend ourselves with reason ; and indeed there is nothing 
that a carnal man does, but he will have reason for it ; and he will have 
the world see that he doth not anything without reason. He will dispute 
with God by questioning whether this or that duty is necessary, and against 
civil authority by questioning the lawfulness or necessity of such duties as 
he is enjoined. This is a great sin. In divine truths, disputing is partly 
about probables, and therefore it is excellent to find out of probables the 
truth ; but in divine truths, to dispute or make question, is little less than 
blasphemy. And it is observable that in those times when there was most 
disputing, as among the schoolmen and the like, about religion and divinity, 
there was least divinity practised, and very few good men. For the heart 
of man was then taken up in the consideration of this or that quiddity ; 
and quite neglected the practice of those truths that were known. 

Quest. But it will be asked, is all disputing evil ? 

Ans. No. The Turk will have none about the Alkoran, and the pope 
he will not have men dispute about anything that concerns him. The devil 
and his instruments they ever run into extremes. Either men must call 
in question all the grounds of divinity, or else receive upon trust whatso- 
ever is dehvered to us. No. We must know in doubtful things, this is 
good and required to find out certainty. The end of motion is rest, and 
the end of questions and doubts tends to truth. Yet have we many spend 
all their life in this or that question or doubt, and edify little or nothing. 
Like those physicians are they who contend and question about the good- 
ness or badness of this or that meat, when a strong labouring man eats it, 
and finds as good nourishment out of it as out of any other. While men 
dispute and talk about this or that doctrine, a sound downright Christian 
receives it, digests it, and is nourished thereby, while the others do even 
starve themselves. Let therefore God alone with his secret will. Homo 
sum, said Salvian, secreta Dei non inteUigo (d). God does what is done, be 
thou content. In human authority also we ought not to dispute, for the 
subject hath no calhng to know the mysteries of state. It may be a sin to 
command, and yet a virtue to obey. It is thy duty to obey, not to question. 

* Samuel. — G. 



Bat if in thine understanding it be plainly evil which is commanded, obey- 
not.* Job did thus, and Job would hear his servant speak, Job xix. 16. 
But if it be uncertain to thee and doubtful, certain it is thou must obey. 
Obedience must be without syllogisms. The servant ought to obey, the 
master must question. 

VERSE 15. 

' That ice may be blameless, and harmless, the sons of God ivithout rebuke, in 
the midst of a crooked and jjerverse nation, among whom you shine as ligJUs 
in the world.' 

This verse contains a reason, drawn from the end, why we should do all 
things without murmuring or disputing. The reason is threefold. 

First, that you may be blameless. Secondhj, harmless. Thirdly, that 
you may be the sons of God. 

' Blameless.' This word, if it be taken generally, is a thing that none 
can attain to. God cannot be without blame, for wicked men will quarrel 
with him, be he never so good. Christ could not live without blame, 
though he went about doing good continually, Heb. xii. 3. It is said he 
endured the cross and despised the shame ; nay, the best men are subject 
to most shame. Stop wicked men in their lewd courses, they f are thought 
presently to be enemies. And the wicked take that for a wrong,^ whenas 
they receive so much good from others that they cannot requite it. But 
the proper signification of the word is in effect thus much, that they should 
so behave themselves, as they should not give any just occasion of offence, 
either to their own consciences, or that of other men. Walk towards God 
without all manner of profanation or irreligious course, and let your gesture 
towards men be just, that your conscience may clear you of all fraud or 
guile ; and let your carriage toward your own self be free from all abuse of 
your person, by gluttony, drunkenness, and the like. In a word, be holy, 
righteous, and sober. 

' Harmless.' The word signifies simple, v^ithout all mixture or com- 
position ; or else void of hurt, without horn, as the word imports {e). 

The doctrine is, that it is the property of Christians to do no harm. The 
reason is, because our nature now is changed from that it was ; for by 
nature we are to one another lions and wolves, as Heb. xi. 33. Now 
therefore our nature being changed, our actions also become changed. The 
gospel makes us tame. The Spirit of Christ in all our members is as 
Christ himself. His miracles were for good, and they were beneficial to 
men. He did all things well. Those therefore that are led by this Spirit 
of his do no harm, so far as they are Christ's. 

Use. For use note this as a main difference between the Christian and 
another man. For all other people are harmful creatures. The four 
monarchies were as so many beasts, because to the poor church of God 
they were as so many beasts, cruel and devouring. Nay, the civillest man 
of all, to his neighbours he seems to be harmless, but towards the church 
none so fierce as they. 

On the contrary. Christians are meek as doves. The wicked are as 
ravenous birds, like eagles' feathers ; | self-love tarns all to its own end. 

* Cf. above sentiments with those referred to by Bishop Patrick, note ff, Vol. I. 
page 290, seq. — G. 
t Qu. ♦ you ' ?— Ed. 
+ Qu. ' feathered eagles.' Cf. Ezek. xxxix. 17, and Ps. Ixxviii. 27.— G. 



Among tbe beasts, tbe Christian is as a lamb, innocent, fruitful ; a common 
good. ' When be is exalted tbe land rejoices,' Prov. xi. 11. Contrarily 
tbe wicked are termed lions and bears, and tbe like. Among tbe plants 
wicked men are as briars : a man must be fenced tbat deals witb tbem, 
2 Sam. xxiii. 7 ; tbe godly as lilies, sweet, not fenced witb pricks. Among 
eartbly creatures tbe godly are as tbe worm ; tbe wicked, a generation of 
vipers and serpents. Tbey will do no rigbt, take no wrong, but a word and 
a blow ; a word and presently to suit, rigbt Esaus and Isbmaels. Nay, tbey 
glory in it. Ob, say tbey, be is a sbrewd man. Hence comes duels, 
combats, and tbe like. Men now are come to tbat pass, tbey will not put 
up a word. Nay, tbose tbat are innocent, and will pass by injuries, tush ! 
tbey are fools. But know, thus to be foolisb is to be wise, to be Cbristian 
like ; and sucb fools as tbese are sball find comfort on tbeir deathbeds, 
when tbose wise men shall wish tbey had been such fools. 

Sucb fools as tbese are, I mean the innocent, sball have God for tbeir help 
and shelter, for want whereof tbese worldly wise men come often to ill ends, 
and to be made fearful examples. The Psalms are full of encouragements 
herein : Ps. xviii. 2, ' The Lord is my rock and fortress,' said David ; and 
so in Ps. xxv. 8, 9, 10, &c. Wicked men have horns, but God is a hammer 
to break tbe horns of tbe wicked. Tbe innocent person, and he that is 
harmless, brings peace to the land, and a blessing to the place where he 
lives. Here prayers and intercessions are as the claariots of Israel and tbe 
horsemen thereof. Let tbose things be noted to provoke us unto this duty. 

' Sons of God.' 

This is the third ground whereby we are incited, to be without murmur- 
ing and disputing, that you may be ' tbe sons of God ;' tbat is, that by this 
you may appear to your own comfort to be tbe sons of God, or tbat herein 
you may be as the sons of God, in shewing j^ourselves harmless and blame- 
less, which may testify it to yourselves and others. 

Doct. Therefore Christians that are harmless and blameless indeed, are the 
S077S of God. The ground of this is the love of God, who freely gave bis 
own Son to take our nature upon him, and to die to save us from the sting 
of death ; be became the Son of man to make us the sons of God without 
rebuke. And as God gave him to us, so by faith doth he give us to him ; 
and by this God gives us power to be bis sons, John i. 12. Our nature is 
hereby changed ; for whom be makes sons he sanctifies tbem and makes 
tbem new, and thus become we bis sons. God bath adopted us, not as 
natural men, for this or that respect, to an earthly inheritance, but God 
freely adopts us to an heavenly inheritance that fadeth not ; neither doth 
God adopt us as men do men in solamcn orhitatis* for God bath a Son in 
whom be is pleased ; neither again can men's adoption make their adopted 
sons to be good ; but when God adopts us, be makes us as be would have 
us to be, like himself. Fourthly, other adopted sons, many of them are 
not sharers together of the inheritance to one allotted ; but we are made 
heirs and fellow-heirs witb Christ himself. This love of God was such as 
the apostle could not express in any fit terms ; therefore be saith, ' Behold 
what love bath the Father shewed us!' 1 John iii. 1. David thought it 
not to be a small thing to be tbe son-in-law of an eartbly prince, 1 Sam. 
xviii. 23 ; behold, we are sons of the King of kings. By nature we are sons 
of the devil, and rebels. Now, that God should freely, out of bis own free 
love, set bis love on us, passing over angels and other men, and not sparing 
his own Son, have we not hence cause to cry, ' Behold what love ! ' and 
* That is, for the solacino; of childlessness. — G. 


' Oh the depth of that love !' Earthly fathers adopt sons because they die, 
but God is eternal ; he never dies ; his Son is everlasting. Consider this 
as a point of comfort, for this relation is everlasting ; he never leaveth us 
nor forsakes us. Servants are cast out, but the Son abideth for ever ; ser- 
vants know not the counsels of their masters, but sons they know the whole 
will of God. Consider this as a ground of protection in all dangers, and of 
provision of all good. ' I have a father,' saith the prodigal ; ' what need I 
die for hunger? I will go to him,' Luke xv. 17. In a word, the word 
Father is an epitome of the whole gospel. All the promises therein con- 
tained are sealed up by and in this one word, God is our Father. Can we 
go to our Father for pardon of sin and not obtain it ? By Christ's death 
and satisfaction he is become our Father ; and therefore Christ is Christ 
after his resurrection. Can we then want any good thing ? How can we 
think he will deny us his Spirit, or that inheritance in heaven, which as 
a Father he hath promised ! How then, or at what shall we be dismayed 
and discomforted ? What can trouble us ? Mark what is promised in 
Ps. ciii. 2, seq. All good that may any way concern thy soul or body. 
Dost thou fear thy corruptions ? The Spirit tells thee that God is thy 
Father; there can be no condemnation to thee, Kom. viii. 1. Dost thou 
fear want ? Surely he that hath given thee Christ, his own Son, how shall 
he not with him give thee all things, Eom. viii. 32. Thou shalt want 
nothing for thy good. Thou mayest fall into sin, but God is still thy 
Father. This relation is everlasting. He will not forsake thee. From 
hence thou mayest have an argument against all suggestions. This brings 
with it comfort ; but to whom '? It must be to such as are sons, not to the 
traitorous and rebellious. It hath been treason for any man to term him- 
self the son of a king, not being indeed so, yea, though the king were dead ; 
and is it not high treason for a presumptuous traitor to come into the pre- 
sence chamber of the great God, and with an impudent face to style God 
his Father ? Verily God's answer will be to such, ' You are of your father 
the devil : his works ye do,' John viii. 44. 

1. Those that are God's sons"' he renews to do his icill and commandments. 
1 Pet. i. 16: 'Be ye holy,' saith he, 'for I am holy.' Bat when men 
hate goodness and good men, nay, and persecute them, defame them, mur- 
der them, John viii. 44, they are of the devil. They are murderers and 
liars ; and that religion that teacheth them is devilish. 

2. Again, If God be thy Father, thou ivilt have a spirit of prayer. We 
are no sooner born but we begin to cry, as Paul did at his first conversion, 
Acts ix. 11. Every child of God, in respect of his measure of grace, he 
will do his endeavour to sigh and sob out his grief to God : and as the 
grace increases, so will this duty be more perfect, till at length he comes to 
provoke f God, by his promise to urge and bind him by reasons to hear 
him. Those, therefore, that pass day after day, never finding time for the 
performance of this duty, they have not God's Spirit ; for by it we have 
access to God, Eph. ii. 18 ; Eph. iii. 12 ; and there is no child but will 
use this privilege ; and those that use it not may well suspect they are not 

8. Thirdly, If thou be the child of God, and hast his Holy Spirit in thee, 
thou shalt have, whensoever thou* standest in need, asueet consolation ; for 
that ever reveals to thee what thou art, and comforts thee in all distress. 
For, Rom. v. 1, ' being justified by faith, thou hast peace with God.' 

* In margin here, ' Signs of God's sons.' — G. 

t That is, etymologically, to ' call forth,' = to appeal to. — G. 


What cross soever troubles the child of God, this will ever comfort him : 
Well ! I am the child of God ; I am assured God is reconciled to me ; I 
have my confidence in him, that when he sees fit I shall be eased ; in the 
mean time I am assured I shall not be overcome. This is that which no 
natural man can have ; he cannot rejoice in affliction. 

4. Fourthly, If thou beest the son of God, thou art not overmuch careful 
for the tJiiiu/s that concern this life. Thou usest the means that God hath 
ordained, and thou trustest God with the issue and event of all. It is the 
property of orphans to care much for their living, and for the things of this 
world ; not for those that have such a father as God, that provides for aU 
his children liberally ; and men in thus doing shew themselves orphans, or 
bastards, and not sons. 

Quest. But some will ask, Is it not possible to be the son of God, and 
3'et ignorant thereof? 

A71S. I answer, Yes. For the child at the first knows not his father ; but 
by little and little he comes to know him as he grows in years. So is it 
with the child of God. At the first he only cries and bewails his miserable 
estate ; but as they grow up, out of the word they learn to see their estates 
that is laid up for them, and to know their Father that hath been so good to 
them, and to call upon him as their Father for anything that they want. 
They know that the Scripture gives it as a note of one that is born of God, 
that ' he sins not ' ; that is, that not with delight and continuance in sin, but 
that his new nature stirs him up to repent, and to beg pardon and to strive 
against it, so as at length he comes to grow so perfect as no temptation 
shall overthrow him, though it may foil* him. But he always considers 
his estate when any temptation comes : Shall I, that am a prince, a son and 
heir to God, do thus, and offend against him ? 

' Without rebuke.' 

This is comprehended in the former words, and therefore I speak the 
less thereof. The words are not to be taken in a strict legal sense, but in 
an evangelical sense, implying that we should walk so as we may be free 
from rebuke of the best, from gross sins, from common infirmities and 
personal corruptions. Whether it be rashness, anger, worldliness, intract- 
ableness, the child of God must labour to free himself of them. He ought 
to endeavour to attain to perfection, though we cannot attain to it in this 
world; and we ought to pray as the apostle, Eph. iii. 18, 'to know the 
length, breadth, depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, that 
passeth knowledge ;' and thus doing we shall dignify this estate of ours. 

* In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.' 

The word 'crooked,' or ,' perverse,' is a borrowed word from timber,f 
whose excellency is to be right and straight ; and if it be not, must be 
squared by the rule. Here it is applied to the disposition and nature of 
men, who naturally are of a crooked condition, especially those that are in 
the bosom of the church. They are so crooked as they cannot be squared 
aright by means ; and so it is ^^'ith those that are right, they are very right. 

Doct. The doctrine then is, that wicked men are all perverse and crooked, 
Deut. xxxii. 5, 

Reason. The reason hereof is, since the fall of Adam we are under sin 
and Satan. Sin is nothing but crookedness. We lying in sin are there- 
fore crooked inwardly and outwardly, in will and in judgment. Even in 
the church, men perversely judge of a Christian's life, and of preaching. So 

* That is, sometimes get the better of him. — G. 

t That is, (TXO?^&j, on which of. Bishop Ellicott in loc, with his references. — G. 


tliat till we be converted, our wisdom is enmity to God. But the will espe- 
cially is 2^erverse. Men they will die. ' Why will ye die, house of 
Israel?' Jer. xxvii. 13. 'How often would I have gathered you,' saith 
Christ, * and you would not ! ' Mat. xxiii. 37. Endeavour to bring men to 
rules : they will not ; they will perish. Bring them to make conscience of 
private prayer, good company : away with it, they will not yield. Our 
affections are also i^erverse. Do not most men love their bane ? Ill com- 
pany, bad courses, swearing and blaspheming. Men will die rather than 
they will leave their courses. Men are also naturalhj yerverse in opiMsition 
to means. God commands, promises, sends mercies and judgments, but 
who regards ? They will go on in their ways ; nay, as in Deut. xxix. 19, 
* they will bless themselves in them.' This is the nature of most men in 
the visible church, more perverse than the Jews. 
' Signs hereof.' 

1. The first sign of this perverse estate is, bring thyself to the rules of 
God's truth ; if thou do it unwillingly, and art brought to it by violence, if 
you shun the word and the means of salvation, if you shun good company, it is 
a sign you are crooked ; nay, so crooked, as you desire to be crooked still. 

2. But be it so that thou canst be content to apply thyself to the rule, 
then ivhether do you tremble to apply the rides to your lusts and corruptions ? 
You have many are so set on their sins as they will justify sin by the word, 
and w^rest the meaning thereof to their own lusts. This is a sure infallible 
sign of a perverse estate. 

Cure hereof. 

1. Bring thyself to God's ordinance, where thou shalt know thine own 
crookedness and the danger of it. 

2. But especially do this u-hen thou art young ; for those that are settled 
in their dregs are not to be dealt withal. It is good therefore to do as 
nurses do, strengthen ourselves when we are 3'oung and pliable. 

3. Thirdly, Keep good company, and such as by their life will discover to 
thyself thy corruptions and j)erverse estate ; and thus when thou findest it, 

4. Consider what a miserable estate thou art in. We amongst us account 
it a great eyesore to see a body that should be straight to be crooked. 
Oh that we had eyes to see this spiritual crooked estate we are in ! Oh 
what fear and grief would possess us ! How would we labour to free 
ourselves of it, and to straighten ourselves every day, lest we should be 
found unfit for God's building, and good for nothing but to burn ! With 
such as walk perversely God will deal perversely. Lev. xxvi. 28. It may 
be he will seem to sleep for a while, but at the hour of death it will shew 
that he looked for better courses at thy hands. 

5. Pray with the psalmist, Ps. cxix. 5, ' Oh that my ways were so direct, 
that I might keep thy statutes !' Observe again, that the godly here live 
in the midst of lions and wolves ; those that are of a froward and perverse 
heart. For those that live under the means of grace, and will not be 
wrought upon, they are much worse for it. There is more innocence in a 
Turk than in some that profess better. And those that profess most, if 
they be hypocrites, of all other make the most bitter opposition against the 

The reasons hereof are : First, God hereby shews his power, in that he 
can and doth preserve his children among lions from the wrath of the lion. 
Christ he must rule, but it is in the midst of his enemies ; and therefore 
his church must be in the midst of his enemies, for he is king of his 



2. Again, in regard of the wicked, it justifies their just condemnation. 
Tliey cannot say but that they had the means, as well of the gospel as the 
examples of those that were good. Thus did Noah justly condemn the old 
world, and Lot Sodom. 

3. Furthermore, those that are not desperately wicked, but of whom we 
may conceive some hope, surehj theij hy living with the (jodhj may be won ; 
as when they see religion in others bringing forth good works, they see 
religion is no impossible thing, for they see men troubled with the like 
infirmities that they are that practise it ; and they see it is sweet, because it 
makes men tractable and loving. 

4. Moreover, in regard of the godly, God suffers them to be amongst the 
wicked, for it refines them. Envy and malice are quick-sighted. God's 
children know they live in the midst of envy, therefore they are wary. Lot 
lived more uprightly in Sodom than when he was out of it. Wickedness 
binds in religion, and makes it more forcible, even as by an antiperistasis ;- 
it unites it and strengthens it. It makes the godly to be more careful, to be 
unblameable, and to watch to keep themselves from doing hurt, and from 
taking hurt ; for wicked men are watchful to take advantage of any ill example 
in the weak Christian, and to follow it. But, on the contrary, the weak 
Christian is overcome, and carried away with the streams of vice, and 
therefore are the more watchful. 

' Directions for life.' 

1. Eemember tJuj ccdling — that you are sons of God; and forget not your 
profession, and fetch reasons from your callings. You are God's children; 
you are called with a holy calling. Shall I do thus, and offend against my 
Father? and shall I disgrace that holy calhng, and scandalise it ? Shall I 
give cause to make the enemy to blaspheme ? 

2. Again, Observe the persons with ivhoni thou conversest. Are they 
malicious and envious ? 

3. Beware how thou give them offence; especially watch thy natural cor- 
ruptions and weaknesses. Take heed of secret ill thoughts. 

4. Carnj the example of David about with thee ; see in him what his 
thoughts wrought. That which thou tremblest to do, tremble to think on ; 
for God justly leaves such in great sins that solace themselves in ill 

5. Again, Look to duties of the second table. These sins are great sores in 
the eyes of our enemies. 

6. Use a loving, jntiful carriage towards them that are ivithout. Though 
they be never so wicked, give them their due, and consider the goodness 
thou hast was given thee. Therefore be not puffed up in thine own con- 
ceit, but fear continually. 

' Among whom you shine as lights in the world.' 

These words contain another reason why the children of God ought to 
be unreprovable. For, saith the apostle, ' you are lights.' All God's 
children are lights, but so as there is an order of them. God is the ground 
of all light ; he is the Father of lights. Christ he is the Sun of righteous- 
ness. These are the grand lights. The word of God is also a light and a 
lantern to light us in the dark ways of this world. From hence light is 
derived to the saints, who receive it from Christ by the word and Spirit. 
You being therefore thus enlightened, you are to converse amongst men as 
lights, saith the apostle. For the better understanding thereof, consider 
in what things God's children resemble light ; and, 

* That is from avri and 'TTiPiardaig G. 


1. First, We know this creature of light is an excellent creature, shewing 
the excellency of all other creatures ; and it is a beautiful creature. Thus 
is the word, and children of God. By it all the world is discovered to be 
as Egypt, and the church to be as the land of Goshen.* And this is beauti- 
ful in the eyes of God, who loves that which is like himself. He is light 
indeed, and nothing but light is lovely to him. He loves those sparks 
which our natural corruption hath left unto us ; and therefore much more 
the light of his own Spirit which he places in us. 

2. Secondly, Lif/ht is jmre, and admits of no contae/ion, though it be in 
the most contagious places of all. So is the word : it is pure, and makes us 
pure and sincere, and that we should not be defiled with the lusts and cor- 
ruptions of this world wherein we converse. 

3. Thirdly, Lir/ht makes ns to discern of differences.. It shews itself, and 
discovers other things. Thus doth the word shew itself where it is, and 
the man that hath it doth discern of things that differ. He judges of the 
wicked, and censures their lewd courses. The child of God is above all 
wicked men, and themselves are justly judged of none ; for the wicked men 
cannot judge of those that are lights, no more than a blind man of colours, 
for they are blind by nature. The world would indeed censure them, when 
indeed they cannot discern themselves, when contraril}^ he discerns himself 
and knows his infirmities and his slidings. 

4. Again, Lifjht is a heavenly quality. So is the word of God, holy, 
pure, transforming godly men to its own likeness, to be heavenly. His 
bread is from heaven ; his afiections, desires, thoughts, endeavours are 
heavenly. His way is upward. He is heavenly-minded ; while he is on 
earth he is in heaven. 

5. Moreover, Liyht is a most conifortahle thing in darkness, expelhng 
terrors and discomforts. Thus is a Christian that is enlightened by the 
word. Terrors are in the word, but the word comforts the heart of a 
Christian. It makes him able to judge of his way and estate ; to know he 
is the Son of God ; that all the promises are his ; that heaven is his ; that 
he hath God's mark. Contrarily, the wicked have no light at all ; for 
while they live here their life here is as a death, full of discomfort ; they 
having no comfort in anything, save a little glimpse of false joy in the 
creatures ; which when they leave them they are in the more terror,— all 
their comfort bei'og in this, that they see not that miserable estate before 
they fall into it and feel it. 

6. Furthermore, Liyht makes a thing full of evidence. All the world 
cannot persuade a man contrary to that they see. Thus the word so dis- 
covers to us our estates in grace, and so surely as all the world can never 
shake the foundation of our faith. ' Though he kills me,' saith Job, ' I will 
trust in him,' Job xiii. 15. But for the wicked, their life is full of stag- 
gering, full of doubtings ; and hence is it that the children of God are 
counted by God holy, pure, comely, fair and dear, because they live with a 
resolution. The papists, they will tell us that the word is obscure ; let 
them tell us the light is obscure, for we may as well believe one as the 

7. But to proceed : Liyht is a quality of surest motion. It spreads 
suddenly. Thus do the children of God. They communicate to others. 
They shine, spreading forth the grace, first of all to those that are next them, 
as children and friends, then to such as are further ofi'. Those that have 

* Cf. Exodus X. 23.-G. 


not this nature, that do not desire to do good to others, they are not children 
of the light ; for it is the nature of all good to communicate. 

8. hiylit, we know, hath a secret influence wheresoever it is. Thus also is 
the grace of God in his children. It is ever operative and working. What 
light soever they receive from the Sun of righteousness, they diffuse it and 
spread it to others, like the moon ; and therefore he adds further : 

' As lights in the world.' 

We that are ' lights in this world,' we are, it is true, in a dampish place, 
yet must we shine, though hut dimly. Therefore ministers, let them look 
both to their doctrine and life, for they are great lights, or at the least 
should he so, and they will be noted. We know when the sun or moon 
are eclipsed. We all observe it as a wonder. And thus will it be with 
such lights as ministers should be. Men continually eye them. If they 
be eclipsed, it will be wondered at and observed of all. Let therefore not 
only ministers but others also look to themselves, that they take heed of 
those things that will eclipse them. We know whence the eclipse in nature 
of these heavenly bodies do come ; from the interposition of dark, gross, 
earthly bodies. Thus it is with God's children. Their cares, griefs, and 
studies in this world being ever more carnal than is meet, they eclipse us 
and make us dark, keeping us from the presence of that light which should 
enlighten us. But especially, and above the rest, self-love, that blinds us 
and eclipses all other lights from us. 

9. Again, Heavenly lights are perpetual. Even as stellce cadentes, so is 
it with the wicked man. Though he seems to shine fairly, yet because the 
causes of this light in him are earthly, no marvel if after the force of them 
be spent they suddenly vanish. But the godly man's light is of another 
substance and nature. It is heavenly, and is ever like himself. It may 
indeed be obscured, but never wholly eclipsed. Either worldly sorrow or 
joy doth for a time sometimes darken them, and may be so obscured as 
neither the world, no, nor themselves can discern their estates for their 
own comfort ; yet for all this will they at length recover their former 
brightness and glory again. Saint Paul, he saith, a Christian life is con- 
cealed and hid with Christ in God, Col. iii. 3 ; but yet when he shall 
appear, then shall we also appear. 

Use. The use of all this is to try us whether we be lights. Surely if we 
be, we will have no communion with those that work the works of darkness. 
So saith Saint John, 1 John i. 5-7. Again, if we be lights we shall wonder 
at our glorious estate we are in ; we shall think all our life before we came 
into this estate to be dark ; yea, though formerly we were civilly disposed. 
And especially shall we wonder at that which we have in future expectation 
and hope, reserved to us in heaven. A carnal man wonders still at worldly 
matters, as stately buildings and the like ; a Christian thinks all base in 
respect of the immense love of God freely set upon him. 

Directions how to attain to be lights. 

1. First, If we desire to be lights, communicate thyself irith the chief est 
light, as the stars are ever in the presence of the sun, and from his light 
they receive theirs. Be sure thou placest thyself in God's eye continually. 

2. Secondly, Use the means, use the glass of God's word. Thou shalt 
not only see thy estate therein, but by it thou shalt be transformed into 
God's image, 2 Cor. iii. 18. Other glasses have no such power like this 
mirror of the gospel. It makes us like God, because it hath the Spirit of 
God ever accompanying with it, whence it is the word of light. Those 
therefore that are out of the sunshine of the gospel, no marvel if they be 


dark. The moon, so far as it is averse from the sun, is ever dark. So is a 
Christian. So far as he is turned from Christ, so far he is dark. Let 
thine eyes therefore be ever towards him in the use of the means, the word, 
prayer, Jand the sacraments, and such Hke. 

3. Again, In thy conversation have no correqwndency with the ivorld, for 
what fellowship is there between light and darkness ? How foully do they 
therefore deceive themselves that will be wise. They will be protestant or 
papist, zealous or profane, according as their company are. God will turn 
Buch worldly wisdom into mere folly, who will be ashamed of such when 
he shall come in his kingdom. It is a comely thing to be Christians with 
Christians. Light with light augments the light, even as the multitude of 
Btars joined in the heaven make the r/alaxia.^' A company of Christians 
meeting in one make a glorious light indeed, and such a lustre as will 
dazzle the eyes of the wicked world. Be stirred up therefore to use good 

4. And follow the example of thoxe that be lir/hts, and the directions thou 
findest in the word, and thou shalt shine as the sun in the kingdom of God. 
It is true the wicked they will labour to cover this light wath clouds of dis- 
grace and detraction, and thus they reward God for his goodness, but they 
have their lesson. There is no surer sign of a wicked man than when they 
endeavour to deprave these lights and to obscure them. And yet this 
practice is very usual, when they see especially any new light risen up, they 
deride and scoff at that man or woman ; they hate him for his light. Like 
Cain are thej', that hated his brother for his goodness ; and herein are not 
only imitators of Cain, but they shew themselves to be of their father the 
devil, for his works they do. Well, as we desire not to be of this sort, let 
■Qs see that we use the means. Go and be where the word of light is, where 
it shines ; for those that live without it live in darkness. Set not thy 
carnal reason against God's wisdom. He bids thee do this. And as thou 
desirest the peace of Zion, 

5. Pray for this light that it may grow more and more unto the jyerfect day 

6. And labour to see the contrary estate of such as are in darkness, where 
the king of fear ruleth, and where is nothing but terror. 

7. And entreat God that he would open thy dull eyes, that the glorio7(s lir/ht 
of the gospel may shine therein. So doth the apostle, Eph. i. 18 ; and thus 
shalt thou at the length come to shine here in this world, without which 
thou shalt not shine in the world to come. The light of nature and reason 
cannot bring thee to the light of glory. 

8. And when thou art converted, ' strengthen thy brethren,'' Luke xxii. 32 ; 
labour to bring others into this marvellous light. ' He that gains a soul 
shall shine as the stars,' Dan. xii. 3. But will some men say, May we 
converse then or live among wicked men ? Yes, verily ; for the Holy 
Spirit saith that we must ' shine in the world.' Christ did not pray that 
God would take his disciples out of the world, but that he would keep them 
in the world from evil, John xvii. 15. But that which is forbidden is 
familiar conversation and amity with them ; otherwise we may live with 
them so as by example to gain them. And herein the Christian reasoneth 
contrary to the world ; for the world saith. Do this. Why ? Because it 
is the custom, and most men use it. Nay, saith the Christian, w^e must 
live so as we ought to endeavour to make others, which are wicked, like 
ourselves. We must gain others by our good example. We must ' redeem 

* That is, = the milky way. — G. 


the time, because the days are evil,' Eph. v. IG. Because others are per- 
verse, be thou good. Noah was not as the old world, nor Lot as Sodom. 
We as they ought to be preachers of righteousness ; and if we cannot bring 
others to the light of the truth, yet to grieve and pity their estates. And 
as David bewailed, ' Woe is me, that I am constrained to dwell in Mesech,' 
&c., Ps. cxx. 5, and yet to comfort ourselves in this, that it will not be 
always thus with us. The time will come that we shall be freed from them, 
and we shall have communion with the Trinity and with all the saints. In 
the mean time shine here ; swear not with them ; be not dissolute with 
them, but be constant in going against the stream. Call to mind thy 
calling, that thou art the son of God. Thou art to be a light to those that 
are in darkness. Eeason not for thy corruptions, but ever against them. 
I am a Christian ; shall I hate him that I profess to follow ? I am a son 
of God ; shall company make me perverse ? I am a light ; shall I cease 
to shine ? No, Lord ; while I am here give me grace that I may grow 
more and more fit for that light and glorious estate that thou hast in keep- 
ing for me against that great day of accounts. 

VERSE 16. 

Holding forth the luord of life. 

That which is of light is life, saith John, i. 4: ' The life was the light of 
men ;' and therefore he saith we should be as lights, * holding forth the 
word of life.' It is not enough for us to shine to ourselves, but we ought 
to shine to others in speech and conversation. By ' the word of life ' here 
especially is meant the gospel ; for the law is a killing letter. We being 
in our corrupt estate, the law pronounces us dead as concerning ourselves. 
Then comes the gospel, that sends us out of ourselves to Christ ; and in 
him it pronounces life to such as come to him ; and it describes to us the 
way that leads to life, and the degrees of life, as redemption, grace, and 
glory, 2 Tim. i. 10. It again begins this life in us, and works faith in us, 
whereby we lay hold on hfe ; and therefore it is also called the word of 
faith. It is called the word of the kingdom ; for it ofiers the kingdom to 
us. It is also called the word of reconciliation ; for that it tells us where 
it is to be had, and works it in us. It is therefore the word of life ; and 
those that believe it not, are dead in law, for the sentence is already passed 
upon such. He is already condemned as dead men. He wants sense, 
motion, and comeliness. For sense, he cannot relish any goodness, either 
in hearing or seeing it. He is blinded, and he stops his ear at the voice of 
the charmer ; and this makes him wonder how others are affected with any 
good thing. For motion, he cannot set one step onward to salvation. 
And for that comeliness, we all by nature are more loathsome than the dead 
carcase. Abraham could not endure the sight of his own wife when she 
was dead, though living she was so dear to him, Gen. xxiii. 4. Thus are 
we by nature altogether rotten and polluted ; speech, fine discourse, favour, 
and all other outward good parts, they can put no comeliness upon us. 
They are but on us as flowers stuck upon a dead carcase. All men know 
that it is rotten and stinking, and void of all comeliness notwithstanding 
them. This then must teach us to regard more this word of life, and to 
pity them that have it not ; and how to judge of such that withhold this 
word of life from them that live in darkness, as the papists do. Surely 
there is no cruelty like this cruelty, to starve men's souls. Observe we 
therefore from hence, he that refuseth God's ordinance he refuseth life. 


What shall we then think of those private devotions, wherewith many men 
put off God's ordinance, thinking that they can get as mucli good in their 
warm chamber by reading of books, as in the public congregation by hear- 
ing God's word taught ? These are fools, setting their foolish inventions 
against God's wisdom, as though they could tell God better means to beget 
and strengthen faith, than he himself can appoint. Oh, but men will say, 
it hinders us from our callings ; in seven years we lose a year. But dost 
thou not live by this word ? Shalt thou do well to be ashamed of that, and 
lightly esteem of that word that brings with it life and glory ? But why is 
this word no more esteemed ? Surely men deceive themselves with self- 
conceit. They think themselves good, when they are stark naught ; and 
that they are alive, whenas like to the Laodiceans they are dead in sin and 
iniquity, Eev. ii. IG, seq. 

(1.) The reason hereof is, tliey want the Spirit to convince them.. For the 
Spirit convinces us of death. Where this Spirit is not, none will seek for 
life ; for they know not that they are dead by nature ; they believe not God's 
law that should convince them. No marvel then if they affect not a change. 

(2.) A second reason is, for that such men as these are carried by sense. 
They see they want no outward content, and for other things they think 
God will be merciful ; they think God loves them, for that he gives them 
worldly riches. There is another sort of men, and these are brought to 
despair ; how is it that these, seeing their misery, do not esteem of this 
word aright, and come to it as to the word of life ? I answer, they consider 
not of this word aright ; they think their sins so many as that the word 
cannot enlighten their darkness. To such I say, they are most fit for this 
word of life ; for Christ bids such come to him as are * weary and heavy 
laden' with their sins, and he hath promised release, Mat. xi. 28. And he 
saith he came ' to bind up the broken in heart and the bruised in spirit,' 
Isa. Ixi. 1 ; and therefore, let such be encouraged by these and such like 
gracious invitations and promises to come to the word, and with attention 
to search into the depth of these promises made to them. But thus much 
of this, that the word is a word of life. Now we come to the next, that 
Christians must ' hold forth this word of light or life.' And this is done 
in speech and action, profession and confession, when they are called 
thereto. For every Christian is a Hght that must shine. What use ia 
there of light under a bushel ? Many are of contrary judgment. They 
think it wisdom to be close in their profession ; in company of papists, to 
be popish ; of religious, to be religiously disposed. Surely this wisdom is 
carnal and devilish. What use is there of such light ? They are Hke false 
lanthorns, which are commonly called thieves' lanthorns. They carry their 
light to themselves ; none is benefited thereby ; they are fit "for works of 
darkness. Of such, Christ hath already said, ' He will hereafter be 
ashamed,' Mark viii. 38. Others there are inwardly one thing, outwardly 
another, contrary to the Christian's duty, which is to hold forth the hght 
that he hath. And this do they, whenas in all passages of their life they 
are turned into the word, and cast into the mould thereof ; then it teaches 
us to pray, to be patient, to joy, yea, in the midst of afflictions, and to do 
good even to those that hate us. And if we, according as we are taught, 
do these things, then do we hold forth this word of life, and it will be an 
exceeding great comfort to us in life, in death, in all estates. It will assure 
us that we are transformed into the image of this word, and the holding 
forth of this word in our lives thus, will cause a far louder report in the 
ears of God than all the verbal profession we can make. 

VOL. V. c 


In temptation, if we find ourselves even at despair, by considering the 
curse of the law, due to us for our sins, if in this estate we can apply the 
gospel so to us, as thereby we find comfort out of it, and such as upholds 
us, surelj^ this is a great sure sign that we are transformed ; and by this 
we hold forth the power of the word, and thereby the light thereof. In 
the hour of death, when the devil is most busy to shake our faith, we not- 
withstanding are not daunted, but ground our faith on the word, and can 
comfortably apply that speech of St Paul, ' There is no condemnation to 
those that are in Christ.' We hereby do set forth the power, comfort, and 
truth of the word. Contrarily, those that are impatient in trouble, and 
puzzled with every temptation, swallowed up with fear, and shew no assur- 
ance of faith in them, notwithstanding the great means they have had, 
these live as though there were no word. Nay, they do in a manner 
slander the word in their lives, making show as if the word had no power, 
comfort, or strength at all in it. For our parts, let us not leave till we 
have digested all the promises and comfortable assurances the gospel doth 
everywhere lay out to us. Hereby we shall shew ourselves far above all 
other men, and in all estates we shall be the same, not moved at all. Let 
us be therefore thankful for this word of life, and joyful in it, and treasure 
it up against the evil day, setting our minds ever upon it ; let it be as a 
paradise to us, where the tree of life is placed. Christ in the word is as 
the tree of life. He that tasteth of this tree shall never die. By the 
* first Adam ' we come to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, by 
woeful experience, by the which we all died, but by the second Adam we 
come to eat of the tree of life, by which we live perpetually. 


(a) P. 8. — ' No perfunctory thing can please God. To this end, as Seneca says, 
of performing of duties natural, so in religious duties there is required : first, a riglit 
judgment of the nature of the thing we do ; secondly, an affection to do it,' &c. 
This is a commonplace of the Stoic philosophy ; and while I have not heen able to 
trace the words, the sentiment is frequent in the Letters of Seneca, as well as in those 
of Cicero. 

(6) P, 15. — ' " Fortiter pro te, suaviter pro me, Domine," saith the father.' A varia- 
tion or adaptation by Augustine of the apophthegm, 'Fortiter in re, suaviter in modo.' 

(c) P. 21. — ' " My soul waiteth on God with silence," for so is the signification of 
the word.' The literal rendering is, ' Only to God (is) my soul silent ;' one of the 
standard proof -texts with the Quakers, in support of their ' silent ' meetings. 

(d) P. 22. — ' Homo sum, said Salvian, secreta Dei non intelligo.' This is one of 
various of the reverential sayings of this priest of Marseilles, who is usually classed 
with the Fathers. It occurs in the most thoughtful of his books, his De Providentia 
Dei, which, from its frequent citation by the Puritans, must have been a favourite 
with them. Cf. lib. i., near beginning. 

(e) P. 23. — ' Harmless.' The word signifies without all mixture or comjiosition ; 
or else void of hurt, without harm, as the word imports. The word is 'a///?/xffro/, 
on which cf. Bishop Ellicott, who gives valuable references on its derivation and 
lexical meaning. G. 


But I trust in the Lord that 1 mijself also shall come shortly. — Phil. II. 24. 

In the former verses the apostle Paul shews his care and love that he bore 
to the Philippians, in that he would not leave them destitute of a guide and 
director ; and therefore he sends Timothy, whom he commends, to shew his 
love the more ; and for his greater commendations, he shews the wicked- 
ness of the contrary sort, that thereby Timothy his sincerity may the bet- 
ter appear ; ' others seek their own, but Timothy as a son hath served me.' 
He lays down the causes of this his sincerity. He first had learned the 
Scriptures of a child ; then he had a gracious grandmother and mother. It 
is an excellent comfortable thing whenas children can say, * I am the son of 
thy servant and thy handmaid,' Ps. Ixxxvi. 16. And a third cause or help 
was his conversing with him. He drew in the sweet spirit of the blessed 
apostle. God, he derivesf good to men by good society. They are there- 
fore enemies to themselves that regard not good, choice company ; for it 
makes of good excellent, and of those that are not yet good, if they belong 
to God, it makes them good. 

In this verse he shews a further degree of his care of the Philippians. 
There are % divers ways to come to the knowledge of men's estate : as first 
by report ; secondly, by messengers ; thirdly, by letter. St Paul had used 
all these ; but his care was such as all these would not content him. He 
must see them himself, which is indeed the surest means and way of all. _ 

In these words, therefore, consider the manner of the delivery of this 
speech, ' I trust in the Lord.' Then the matter, which contains a purpose 
of his coming. Then the ground, his trust in God. Here, first of all, 
mark the language of Canaan ; and the heavenly dialect, 

1. To express future 2nirposes icith a reservation of, and resignation to, God's 
will and guidance. ' I trust in God,' saith the apostle ; for the hearts of 
men, yea of kings, are in God's hand, to turn and wind them as the rivers 
of waters, Prov. xxi. 1. This shews Christ to be God, for he is the object 
of trust. Observe in the second place, 

2. God's providence extends to every j^articidar thing. He guides our 
incomings and our outgoings ; he disposes of our journeys ; nay, his pro- 
vidence extends to the smallest things, to the sparrows and to the hau- of 
our heads ; he governs every particular passage of our lives. 

« ' Of the Providence of God ' immediately follows ' The Christian Work,' without 
separate title-page, in the 4to of 1639. Cf. note, page 2.— G. 

t That is, ' communicates.'— G. + Misprinted ' is.'— G. 


Use 1, This should teach tis to set upon our affairs with looking vp to 
heaven for permission, poiver, and sufferance; and this St James enforces by 
reproving the contrary. ' Go to,' saith he in his fourth chapter, and 
ver. 13th, and adds the instruction thereupon ; ' for that ye ought to say, 
if the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that.' Let us therefore in all 
our affairs be holy, and not bind or limit our holiness only to coming to 
church ; but seeing at all times and in all places we are Christians, and 
ever in the presence of God, let us place ourselves still in his eye, and do 
nothing but that we would be willing God shall see ; and labour to behold him 
in every good thing we have, and give him thanks in all the good we enjoy. 

Use 2. And secondly, it ought to give us warning, that %ve our/ht not to 
set vpon anythinrj, u-Jiercin we cannot expect God's guidance : and so conse- 
quently cannot trust on him for a blessing upon what we do. For if we 
do, we must look to meet the Lord standing in our way, as Balaam did, in 
opposing our lewd and wicked intentions. 

Use 8. And thirdly, it ought to teach us to take nothing hut that for 
which we may give God the thanks and piraise ; as contrarily many do, who 
may thank the devil for what they have gotten, and yet make God implicitly 
the giver of their most unjust exactions. 

VEKSE 25. 

Yet I siqjposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditm. 

Paul thought it not enough to plant the seeds of the word amongst them, 
but he would be viewing it and watering. ' I purpose shortly to see you,' 
Baith he ; but because I am now in prison I cannot come myself, but I pur- 
pose presently to send you Epaphroditus, and afterwards Timothy ; and 
this he thought necessary — for well he knew that the residence of the pastor 
is necessary to the flock of the Lord, in some sort. But to stand upon 
this doctrine is not my purpose. The next thing I come to is, the com- 
mendations of Epaphroditus, which is divers ; out of which generally thus 
much we learn, that it is our duty to give them commendations that are jn-aise- 
worthy, even to this end that thereby we might raise a good opinion of them, 
especially of the ministers of the gospel ; for hereby is the gospel itself 
glorified by us. And indeed it is a great sign that the spirit of the devil 
rests in that man, that doth detract and disparage the good children of 
God. For it comes hereby that the gospel of God is also blamed, and 
neglected. For the commendation of the minister is a preparative, and 
makes way for the word. 

, My brother. 

The word in this place signifies one of the same office. As judges call 
one another ' brother,' so doth St Paul call Epaphroditus ' brother,' in 
regard of his office and spiritual function ; and hereby he shews his love 
to him ; for ' brother' is a name of love and friendship. Secondly, it shews 
his care of Epaphroditus ; for one brother will care for another, unless they 
be of a Cainish nature. Thirdly, it is a name of equality, for brothers are 
equal. And hereby the apostle shews his humility, who being an apostle 
and pillar of the church, descended so low as to call one of inferior rank 
and calHng, ' brother.' He had another spirit before his conversion ; he 
persecutes the church of God. But afterward those that he formerly per- 
eecutes are now his ' brethren.' Now he thinks he is a debtor to all, both 
Jew and Grecian, Rom. i. 14. The proud man thinks all are debtors to 


him, that all do owe him respect and reverence ; and indeed it is the spirit 
of the devil that ' lifteth up.' Antichrist is his eldest son indeed, who 
lifteth himself up against, and above all that is called God. Contrarily 
Christ humbles himself to the death to call us brothers. Shall we then 
disdain to live together in terms of equality and love ? Is there not infinite 
dilference between Christ and us ? Was there not in him such a glory as 
passcth our apprehension ? and what had we, or what have we, that we 
should lift ourselves up after this fashion ? If we will strive to be above 
and outgo others, let it be in humility. Go each before others, in giving 
honour to others above ourselves. Observe, therefore, grace takes advan- 
tage of all bonds to increase love ; bonds of office as well as of nature. Men 
of the same profession emulate and envy one another. Thus it is naturally, 
but let religion teach us better, and take away this natural poison from us. 


The apostle commends him yet further. He calls Epaphroditus his 
' fellow laboui'er,' in regard of the pains he endured ; and ' fellow soldier,' 
in regard of the perils and dangers he jointly did undergo with the apostle. 
The doctrine that hence arises is, that ministers are fellow-labourers. They 
are not, or should not be, fellow-loiterers, as many are. No. The Scrip- 
tures compares them to the most painful and laborious professions ; to 
husbandmen, whose labour is circular, every year renewing as the year 
doth renew. Such is the ministers' labour, converting and strengthening 
others. It is a great labour to break the shell of the word ; to lay open 
the right interpretation thereof ; to divide it aright ; to convert a soul ; to 
preserve it from the devil. It is as the peril of women in travail ; ' My 
little children, of whom I travail in birth till Christ be formed in you,' saith 
Paul our apostle in Gal. iv. 19. Idle people are therefore unjust esteemers 
and judgers of the pains of ministers, they knowing it is out of their pro- 
per element. 

Use. If ministers then be labourers, you to whom we preach are God's 
orchard ; you must submit yourselves to be wrought on. If we be builders, 
yoa must be lively stones of this building. You must suffer yourselves to 
be squared, and cut, and made fit for this building while you are here. 
At the building and finishing of the material temple there was no noise of 
hammers, or such instruments ; all were fitted in the mountain. Thus* 
must we expect to be fitted here while we live ; for in that beautiful temple 
in heaven, there is no fashioning or fitting, either by crosses to hammer 
us, or by any other means. We must here be conformable to his death, 
that we may also be conformed to the similitude of his resurrection here- 
after. If ministers be husbandmen, you must be * ground,' and such as 
may bring forth fruit to perfection, else -all our labour and pains that we 
take with you will be to no other end than to make you to be near cursing, 
Heb. vi. 7. And know, it is not sufficient that you bring not forth evil 
fruit ; but every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, must be hewed 
down and cast into the fire. Mat. iii. 10. Eemember Christ cursed the 
fig-tree for unfruitfulness ; and with what curse ? Even unfruitfulness. 
Thus will God do with us. If he finds us unfruitful, he will take away his 
Spirit, and we shall be unfruitful still ; and thisf by woeful experience we 
see daily, with many that come indeed within the sound of the word every 
day, but mend not one jot ; nay, they become every day worse. May not 
God complain, as he did of Judah in the parable of the vineyard, Isa. v. 5, 
* Misprinted ' this.' — G. t Misprinted ' thus.' — G. 


that lie hatli hedged us and fenced us about -with government, and authority, 
and good laws, and hath taken out of us the stones and thorns of popery, 
and profaneness ; and yet we bring forth wild grapes. And might he not 
break down the wall ; and that justly, and sufier us to be devoured. Surely 
yes ; and yet must needs we acknowledge him to be just. But it follows, 
the apostle calls Epaphroditus here his, 

Felloic-laboKrer. It is observable here, concerning God's goodness, 
that he suffers not his faithful labourers to be alone, Christ sends them 
out by ' two and two,' before his face, Mark vi. 7 ; and this he doth that 
they might be a mutual aid, strengthening and comforting one another. 
Thus did Christ in old time, and thus he doth also in later times. He sent 
Augustine and Jerome, Luther and Melancthon ; whers, by the way also, 
observe God's wisdom in sending men of diversity of gifts : Jerome, severe 
and powerful ; Augustine, meek and gentle ; Luther, hot and fiery ; Melanc- 
thon, of a soft and mild spirit ; one to temper the other's over forwardness, 
and thereby to prevail with some that liked not of the strictness of the 
other. And by this means God sent teachers suitable to the natures and 
fitting the several humours of men, among whom some desire to hear the 
' sons of consolation,' others the ' sons of thunder.' 


Every man's life is a warfare, but most of all and above all, the 
minister is continually in war and strife. They are soldiers, leaders ; they 
carry the standard, but they of all others are in the most danger, they 
stand in the brunt of the battle. The reason hereof is : the devil, having 
malice against the whole church in general, 'specially aimeth at them 
that pull men out of his service into the church, even as beasts do rage 
against such as take their young away from them. It is the minister that 
treads on the serpent's head : no marvel, then, if the devil endeavoureth 
to bite them by the heel. Thus dealt he with Christ, when he first set 
upon his office of mediator ; and thus did he with Moses and Paul, in the 
main plots contrived against them. Such as those are great eyesores to 
him, and this is it that makes them soldiers and captains. But how ? I 
answer, even as Paul, 1 Cor. x. 4. So the ministers do fight against the 
strongholds of corruption within us, against natural reason, corrupt aliec- 
tions, proud conceits ; they fight against these imaginations, and in them, 
against the devil himself, who doth* use these instruments to bring his pur- 
poses to pass. In ministers, therefore, it is required principally knowledge 
in the stratagems of the devil, in especial manner in those amongst whom 
they should converse ; by observing the corruptions of the times, places, 
and the corrupt customs, and also the general corruptions of callings. He, 
therefore, that would be a good soldier, had need be continually resident 
in his charge ; for the devil having gotten hold once, he seeks to sing them 
asleep with ' Soul, thou hast much goods,' &c., Luke xii. 19. This is 
dangerous. The minister had need look to it ; for men do soothe them- 
selves up in pleasure, thinking that religion may well stand with the love 
of the world. The watchman must tell them plainly, ' You cannot serve 
God and mammon.' If these false conceits, this false divinity that is in 
us, were once removed, we should easily resist the devil. Our enemies 
are within ue, and therefore what saith Christ ? ' The prince of this world 
Cometh, and hath found nothing in me,' John xiv. 30, and therefore he got 
nothing. * Be not deceived,' saith St Paul ; thereby shewing that their 
* Misprinted 'doe.' — G. 


offence did arise of a false conceit and an error in judgment. If then the 
ministers be soldiers under Jesus Christ our general, 

Use 1. Then all by nature are in an opposite Jdngdom. We have natural 
lusts in us against every commandment, and there is no act of faith in us, 
but we have false conclusions in us to fight against them. We are by 
nature not only void of all goodness, but we have a nature opposite to all 

Use 2. The second use is for instruction. If we would be brought and 
redeemed out of this estate, let us not hold forth ar/ainst the ministry of the 
gospel. Some will have such carnal conceits, that do what we can, they 
will not see ; they are wilfully blind. Such as these are by the ministry 
of the gospel hastened to hell. Their course is made more swift, their fall 
more desperate. Let it not be with us so ; but let us come with yielding 
hearts to the word, not resisting the Spirit. Grod will not always strive 
with us, but will give us up to our own courses, to live and die under the 
dominion of the devil, and so will glorify himself in our confusion. For 
the word is as the man on the white horse which is spoken of in the Keve- 
lation, it goes forth conquering, it condemns men already. Rev. xix. 11. 
It is like Jonathan's bow, it never returns empty from the blood of the 
slain,* 2 Sam. i. 22. Christ he continues to preach to us here by his 
Spirit, as he did to those in the time of Noah, 1 Pet. iii. 19. If we will 
not hear, we shall into prison, as they are now without redemption, for 
blood shall be upon our own heads. 

Use 3. In the third place, if ministers be soldiers for us, let us help them 
by our prayers. ' Curse Meroz,' saith the angel of the Lord. Why ? 
' Because they came not to help the Lord,' Judges v. 23. If those are 
cursed with a bitter curse, that came not to help them that fight for the 
Lord, what curse remaineth to them that fight against them, and deprave 
them that fight for the Lord ? 

Use 4. Lastly, Seeing we are here in a working estate, nay, in a warring 
estate, it should make us viore wllUng, nay, to desire, to he dissolved, and to 
be with Christ, where all assaults and trials shall cease, all tears shall be 
wiped away. And therefore, if we see afllictions, be not terrified, for God 
will give thee strength here and hereafter. Thou shalt be recompensed in 
the resurrection of the just. 

But your messenger, and he that ministered to my tvants. 

The word in the original that is translated ' messenger,' signifieth an 
apostle,! and it may be taken, either for a messenger sent by them to the 
apostle Paul, or for a messenger sent by the apostle Paul to them. How- 
ever, it is an honourable office to be an ambassador to the church of God, 
or to be a messenger from the church of God ; and therefore the PhiHppians 
sent him that was most dear to them to the apostle Paul, out of the love 
they bare to him ; and Paul again would not keep him long from them, 
because he loved them. It is a happy contention, when men contend who 
shall express most love and afi"ection toward each other. This Epaphroditus 
brought refreshing to the apostle, being then in durance, from the Philip- 
pians. Whence observe, 

Doct. 1. That the child of God is subject to wants here whiles he lives. 

Thus it is with them at all times. Thus is it with us. Sometimes we 

want this thing, sometimes that ; but [he] gives them what they most want. 

Thus was it with Christ. He wants water, and was constrained to beg it 

* Also of Saul.— G. t Tliat is, a.ito6To\o<; and Xs/rougyog.— G. 



of a poor silly woman, John iv. 7, seq. And if it was thus with Christ, we 
must not look for better. And therefore, let us be comforted against it ; 
for, as it followeth in the next place, 

Doct. 2. The children of God shall he satisfied. Eather than Elias 
shall perish for hunger, the ravens shall feed him, 1 Kings xvii. 4.* If 
rich Dives will not have mercy on such, the brutish dogs shall, Luke xvi. 
21. For Paul, God provides one Epaphroditus, or Onesiphorus, 2 Tim. 
i. 10-18. In Acts xvi. 25, Paul's trials were many ; but see, those 
places which of themselves were places of horror become f so comfort- 
able as in them he sings psalms ; and those persons that were his tor- 
mentors, become his great friends and comforters in his adversities. So 
that assuredly, one way or other, God will provide for his children, espe- 
cially for his ministers. And therefore Christ bids his apostles, that when 
they went to preach, they should not carry anything with them ; for well 
he knew that those that were converted would not sufler them to lack any- 
thing that was necessary. It must encourage us to our work. God, he 
will give us wages, even for the performance of our ordinary duties of our 
callings, if we do them in obedience to his laws. And indeed, if we could 
live by faith as we should, we would not care for anything, for God hath 
promised liberally, and if we could believe, he would not be less than his 
word, who doth suifer his children to want some few outward things, but 
it is for their good. And to such God ever gives patience to suifer, and 
to expect and wait the time of God's visitation. 

VEESE 26. 

For he longed after you all. 

Epaphroditus, he longed after all the Philippians ; yea, there was none 
but he had a regard of; yea, of the meanest, whom he knew to be as dear 
in Christ's acceptation as the greatest. For the soul and salvation of the 
meanest cost him as dear as the salvation of the greatest. Again, the 
weakest are soonest discontented and most subject thereunto, who there- 
fore ordinarily are soonest brought to complain. It is a ground therefore 
for the ministers so to behave themselves, that they also have a respect unto 
all the meanest even as the greatest. 

And was full of heaviness. 

It grieved Epaphroditus to think that they mourned for his sickness. 
Grief returns by reflection on the party loved. Observe then the wicked 
nature of men that make music in the sorrow of others. Surely they have 
a poisonous heart within them ; and it ought to reprove those that regard 
not to grieve those by whom they were brought into the world. Surely if 
such had the principles of nature within them, such a slavish condition of 
serving their own unbridled lusts could never settle on them. 

Because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick, dc. 

Observe here how one wave follows another. After Epaphroditus had 
endured a long and dangerous voyage, he meets with a long and dangerous 
sickness. It is the nature of us. Let us not dream of any immunity. 
God's children are subject to sicknesses while they live. Daily experience 
proves it ; for they have bodies that have the seeds of sickness in them. 

* ' And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the hrook, and I have commanded 
the ravens to feed thee there.'— G. . t ^lisprintcd ' becomes.'— G. 


Their heaven is not here ; for they are not clean from corruption, which 
bringeth death and sickness, by which also God intends good to the body. 
For if such recover, their bodies are purged from many bad humours ; "if 
they do not recover it, God by little and little unties the marriage knot 
between the soul and the body, and so death comes more easy. And thus 
also grace is strengthened in the soul ; as the outward man is weakened, so 
is the inward man renewed, 2 Cor. iv. 16. For by sickness we are put in 
mind to make even our accounts with God, and by it he also makes pleasures 
of the world to be bitter unto us, that we may the more willingly part with 
them ; even as nurses use to anoint the pap with some bitter thing to make 
the child refuse the pap. Observe in the second place, that God often 
suffers his children to come to extremities, yea, even to death itself, and into 
desperate estates. Thus did he suffer Hezekiah, Job, Jonas, David, Daniel, 
and the ' three children ' to run into the jaws of death. Thus suffered he 
also his disciples to be overwhelmed with water ere he would seem to take 
notice of it.* Nay, thus suffered he his only Son Christ upon the cross while 
he said,^ ' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?' and by this 
means it comes to pass that when all natural and ordinary means fail 
them, their trust is not placed on the means, but on some more durable and 
constant help, upon God's own good will and power. For else our nature 
is such as soon we should idolise the means, and set them in the place of 
God, if means should continually recover us. And this offence w^as Asa f 
guilty of in his sickness ; he trusted not the Lord, but physicians. God is 
jealous of our affections. And hence lest Paul should be lifted up, he gave 
him over to some base temptation, which he calls ' the messenger of Satan.' 
In the second place, God suffers his children to fall into extremities, to the 
end that we having experience of God's helping hand in them, we might 
come to rely more confidently on him in all adversities. He suffers us to 
receive the sentence of death in us, to the end that we should not trust in our- 
selves, but in God, 2 Cor. i. 9. For God is never nearer than in 
extremities. His power is seen in man's weakness. In the third place, 
God suffers us to fall into extremities that he might try what is in us, and 
that he might exercise the graces in us. And commonly it is seen, those 
that rely upon means in such extremities make themselves executioners of 
themselves. Thus did Saul, Ahithophel, and Judas ; for while they trust 
on the means, they falling them, what marvel if they seeing no remedy run 
into despair, whenas God's children go to their own Father, exercising 
their faith, hope, prayers, and all Christian graces and duties. And there- 
fore afflictions are called trials, because they try our graces. For if it were 
not for them, we should not know what faith, patience, hope, or grace 
were. Fourthly, hence it comes that the communion between God and us 
might be more sincere ; for whenas nothing is between God and us to rely 
on, then do we come more sensibly and experimentally to taste, see, and 
feel God more to our comfort ; for where ordinary helps fail, God's help 

The use of all this is. That we should not be'dismayed, though we be in 
the most forlorn estate ; for in extremity God is most near us, and then 
shall our graces be strengthened, and we shall have experience of God's 
favour strengthening us. And in the second place, when thou seest any in 
great afflictions, pronounce not thy sentence rashly on him, for even then 
he may be nearest God : Ps. xli. 1, ' Blessed,' saith the prophet, ' is he that 
considereth the poor aright : the Lord will deliver him in the time of 
* Cf. Mat. xiv, 25.— G. f Misprinted Ahaz. Cf. 2 Chron. svi. 12.— G. 


trouble.' The pajists, indeed, are mimerciful in this kind. See what he 
is by his diseases find sicknesses, say they of Calvin, -who, as Beza writes 
of him, was much afflicted that way (a). But see even in Epaphroditus, of 
whom Paul said none was minded like to him, yet he in a good cause was 
afflicted, and came to great extremities. Seeing then we cannot avoid 
sickness nor death, but we must all come to it, let us consider briefly how 
to fit ourselves for it beforehand, that it comes not suddenly, and takes us 
before w^e are aware thereof. And herein let us consider what we are to do 
before sickness, and what in sickness. 

(1.) Before sichwss labour to make God thj friend, who is Lord of life 
and death. Is there any hope that a prisoner which abuses the judge con- 
tinually till he be on the ladder shall have pardon ? How can he imagine 
that a man that all his lifetime followed his own wilful courses of sin, and 
persecuted, by scandalising and slandering good men ; that continually 
blasphemed God and abused him in his word ; how can this man think to 
command comfort in sickness ? How can he think God will be pleased 
with him ? No. All such repentance in sickness may justly be suspected 
to be hypocritical, that it is made rather for fear of punishment than 
loathing of sin ; and therefore God often leaves such men to despair, and 
that justly. See what he saith, Prov. i. 25, ' Because I have called, and ye 
refused ; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded ; I will laugh 
at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh,' and so forth to the 
end of the chapter. It is just with God, seeing when he called j'ou would 
not answer, that when you call he should not answer. Be wise therefore 
to foresee the time to come, 

(2.) In the second place, if thou wilt be sick to thy comfort, disease not 
thy soul beforehand. Those that will avoid sickness, they will abstain from 
such meats and other things as may increase their malady. Let it be thus 
in our soul sickness ; find what thou art sick of, and take heed of hunting 
after such temptations and occasions as may inflame thy soul. Those that 
are profane swearers and loose livers they think they shall never hear of 
their wickedness ; they think it will be forgotten and borne withal, whenas, 
even while they are thus wretched, they distemper both their souls and 
their own bodies also. Thus do they eat their own bane. Take away the 
strength and power of sickness. Take heed of sin beforehand. For it is 
the sin that thou now committest that breeds sickness. And he that tempts 
thee now to sin, when sickness comes will tempt thee to despair of pardon. 

(3.) Thirdly, Wean, thine affections from the earth ; for else w'hen any 
cross comes, we shall not be able to endure. The saying is true, qui nimis 
amat, nimis dolet. In what proportion a man loves this world too much in 
the enjoyment of it, in that proportion he grieves too much at his departure 
from it. It is an easy matter for one to die that hath died in heart and 
afiection before. And to help this, consider the uncertainty and vanity of 
these things, and how unable they will be to help thee when thou shalt 
stand most in need of help. Men when they are well, they consider not 
what these things will do, but they consider what they cannot do. Friends 
in adversity are true friends. Alas, when thou art sick, what will thy 
friends or thy riches do ! Yea, what can they do for thy recovery ! 

(4.) In the fourth place, make iqi thy accounts daily, that when sickness 
and weakness comes we have not our greatest and most laborious work to 
do. It is an atheistical folly to put off all till sickness, whenas they know 
not but God may call them by sudden death, or if he warns them by sick- 
ness, God may suffer their understanding and senses to be so troubled as 


they shall neither he able to conceive or judge. Now, what madness is it 
to put off our hardest works to our weakest estate. There is no day but 
the best of us gather soil, especially those that have much dealing in the 
world. We had need to wash ourselves daily, and pray to God that he 
would cleanse us. 

(5.) Fifthly, While thou art in health, Jaij a foundation and tjround of 
comfort for sickness ; and still be doing of something that may further thine 
account, and testify of the reconciliation between God and thee. It is 
strange to see how many account of death ; send for a minister, be absolved, 
and take the communion, and say, ' Lord, have mercy on me ;' and we 
presently conclude he is assuredly saved. 'Tis true, these are good if well 
used ; but if there be not a foundation laid, these are but miserable com- 
forters. A good death is ever laid in a good life. Absolution to such as 
these that so lightly esteem of their estate is no other than as a seal to a 
blank. It is true, we ought to deny absolution to none as will say they 
repent ; but know this, you may be hypocrites, notwithstanding our abso- 
lution. We spend all our wits and powers to get unto us a little worldly 
pelf; and shall we think to go to heaven, and to be carried thither, through 
pleasures and ease ? No. He that made thee without thee will not save 
thee without thee. This is one reason why we condemn popery ; and 
though we in show hate it, yet are we popish in our conceits. It is the 
good that in our health we do that comforts us in our sickness ; for con- 
sidering how it hath pleased God not only to put into our minds but into 
our wills to do this or that good — Such a good man have I raised ; such a 
poor man have I relieved — we think of it as an evidence of God's Spirit in 
us. Contrarily, when we think how brave our apparel hath been, how 
gallant our company, what pleasing plays and spectacles we have seen, 
what can this comfort us '? Nay, will it not discomfort us to consider we 
have spent our means and time unprofitably ; we have delighted in worldly 
delights ? How shall I account with that just Judge for my time _ and 
means ill spent ? Doth not this argue want of grace, want of God's Spirit ? 
Be wise therefore with Joseph against times of famine, of sickness, of death ; 
prepare such cordials as may strengthen thee. Now, 

2. In the next place consider we how we are to behave ourselves in 

(1.) First, therefore, know and consider that as Job saith, ' Sickness 
comes not from the dust,' Job v. 6 ; but consider thy imijs, especialhj thy 
antecedent course of life, u'hich of late thou hast passed over next before thy 
sickness. For God corrects not for sin in general so much as for some one 
sin that rules. If it appears not, pray to God to help thee in this thy 
search : and when thou hast found out the Jonah, the Achan that thus 
troubleth thee, ' then judge thyself and justify God,' Josh. vii. 19. 

(2.) 'Judge yourselves, that ye he not judged of the Lord,' 1 Cor. xi. 31 ; 
lay thyself open by confession ; renew thy repentance, and confess thyself 
thoroughly, and spare not thyself. It is cruelty to be merciful to thyself 
in this thing. And justify God ; say with the holy prophet, ' Just art thou, 
Lord, and righteous are thy judgments,' Ps. cxix. 75 ; and thus by 
meeting with God we do allay our sickness. For God uses it no other than 
as a messenger to call us to meet with him, who else would never look after 
him ; and when the messenger hath his answer, he is gone. When we 
repent and amend, the sickness departs, unless it be sent for a better end, 
to call us out of this miserable world, to perfect his promises to us. When 
therefore God summons thee, do not as the common coui'se is, send fii'st 


for the bodily phj-aician, and when thou art past natural care,* then for the 
divine ; but contrarily let the divine begin, Ps. xxxii. 3, seq. Until David 
had confessed his sin, ' his bones waxed old with roaring, and his moisture 
was turned to the drought of summer.' But when he confessed his sins, 
*,Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin ;' for indeed the sickness of the 
body begins from the iniquity of the soul. Begin with it ; look to heal it, 
and comfort in thy bodily estate will follow ; and it is just with God to 
suffer those that trust so to the physician to continue in hope of health, till 
they be past recovery, and then to send them to their own places, as it wag 
said of Judas, without thinking of their soul's good. Thus, when thou 
hast found out thy disease, and laid it open to God, 

(3.) In the next place, look for evidences of comfort ; desire God to witness 
to tluj soul his peace with her; and upon every warning of sickness, look for 
thy evidence afresh. This will strengthen thee as it did Job. Whatsoever 
discomforts he saw, ' yet I know my Redeemer liveth, and that I shall see 
him,' Job xix. 25. And thou thus going to God, if thou lookest on the 
earth, thou wilt count all as dross and dung, as Paul did, Philip, iii. 8. 
All worldly matters will be despised in thiue eyes. 

(4.) In the fourth place, labour for love. Consider how the world ia 
with us. We know not what will become of us. Begin with justice, in 
giving every man his own, and then with bounty ; then forgive. We can- 
not go to heaven with anger. Thus did Christ, ' Father, forgive them,' 
Luke xxiii. 34 ; and Stephen, ' Lord, lay not this sin to their charge,' Acts 
vii. 60. Be far from revenge. If thou lookest to come where Christ is, 
do as he did. This is hard to fleshly minds, but it must be done. Thou 
must first deny thyself before thou canst be saved. 

(5.) In the next place, labour for patience ; but such as must be ruled by 
reason, and not blockish. To this end consider, first, whence the sickness is. 
It is from God icho is powerful. [Consider] that we shall get nothing by 
striving or murmuring ; that we cannot resist him so but he will have his 
will fulfilled upon us ; and therefore let us humble ourselves under the 
mighty hand of God. Then also, consider it comes from God, who is thy 
Father, and therefore loveth thee. What then though the cup be bitter ? 
Shall I not drink of the cup which my father giveth me to drink of ? Ivnow 
also, that all the circumstances of thy sickness are ordered by him, the 
degree and time are limited by him, he knows what is needful and fitting, 
he is Lord of life and death, resign thyself therefore to him ; and then hath 
God his end he looks for, viz., that his children should cast themselves on 
his mercy. In the next place, remember that thou deservest much worse, and 
that he shews thee favour in this gentle correction. Remember what 
Christ hath done for thee, what he hath suffered, what he hath delivered 
thee from, and what these things are in comparison of those that thou 
justly deservest. 

Consider also what will be the fruit and end of all these thy troubles and 
griefs, even the quiet fruits of righteousness ; all shall be for our good. Is 
it for thy good rather to drink of a bitter potion than sickness ? what 
though it be bitter ? It is for my health ; God is working my good. 
Though I feel it not now, hereafter I shall in his good time. And thus 
shall we justify God, as David did, and behold him as in Christ a most 
loving Father who was an angry judge, and being turned, all are turned. 
Corrections they are now, which were before punishments, and they are 
become trials of graces. 

* Qu. ' cure ' ?— Ed. 


(6.) In the last place, let us being sick he ever heavenly -minded, tliinking 
on nothing but that which may administer to us spiritual comfort. If we 
have not this, look not to come thither. It is not fit our minds should be on 
these earthly things, whenas our souls are going or should be going to heaven. 
It is God's just judgment to suffer men's minds, being ready to depart the 
world, to be taken up with the world, and as they have lived, so to die. 
If we would have a pattern of dying well, look on Christ ; before his death, 
when he was troubled, he will have his disciples with him. So when we 
are vexed with any temptation or trial, use such company as may bring 
spiritual comfort to thee, and thereby to strengthen thee. As Christ left 
his ' peace behind him,' John xiv. 27, let us study also how to preserve 
peace after our departure. As Christ did all the good he could so long as 
he lived, so should we, that our sickness may be fruitful of comfort. As 
Christ studied how to do all his work, thus should we endeavour to do 
what we have to do, that with a clear conscience we ma}^ say as Christ did, 
' Father, I have done the work thou gavest me to do,' John xvii. 4. Christ 
had care of his disciples and friends before he died : of his mother, 
' Woman, behold this son,' saith he, &c., John xix. 2G. ' I go away, but 
I will send you the Comforter,' John xv. 26, We also ought to be careful 
for the well-leaving of them whom God hath committed to our care to pro- 
vide for. Christ was not vindictive ; 'Father, forgive them,' saith he, Luke 
xxiii. 34. So we, specially when we die in peace, forgive all the world, 
yea, our enemies, for so also did Stephen, I^astly, Christ commends his 
soul to God: 'Father, into thy hands I commend m}' spirit,' saith he, Luke 
xxiii. 46 ; dying, he dies in faith and obedience. Thus also ought we to 
imitate him ; die in faith, be sure of God that he is thy Father, and 
obediently submit thy soul into his hands when thou diest. Thus when 
we die we shall die with comfort, and we shall count it exceeding joy when 
we fall into any trouble or adversity whatsoever. 

But the Lord. 

Doct. Observe this comfortable exception : God brings Ms children low, 
but he raises them up again, if it be for their good : Ps. cxviii. 17, * I will 
not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.' Nay, then espe- 
cially, when they are past all worldly means of recovery ; and as it is in 
sickness, thus also is it in other troubles ; and this God doth. 

Eeason 1. First, To glorify his jwwer the more. 

2, Secondly, That his enemies viight not triumph still in overcoming us. 

3. Thirdly, That we being thus delivered, might consecrate our lives and 
breath to him anew, as having received them from him, even by a new gift. 

Use 1. The use hereof is. If God helps us above and against means, %ve 
ought to hopie above, yea, against hoj^e, believe in the greatest extremities ; 
' though he kill us, yet trust in him.' God is not tied to Galen's rules.* 
He can work above physical means, as he shewed in the cure of Hezekiah, 
Especially in soul troubles let not our faith fail us, for he hath absolutely 
promised his helping hand in them. 

Had mercy on him. 

Observe the language of the Holy Ghost, shewing the recovery of 
Epaphroditus, by the ground and cause of it, ' God had mercy on him.' 

Doct. Observe, therefore, God's mercy is the spriufj of all God's dealing 
with us. Both his benefits and his corrections of us all comes from his 
* That is, to the use of ordinary means ; e. g. Galen, a physician. — G. 


mercy ; all his ways are mercy and truth. We are sick, well ; we live, we 
die ; all comes from his mercy. Seeing, therefore, all comes from his 
mercy, yea, our greatest extremities, because he might have dealt worse 
with us. 

Use 1. Let vs look that ice icilfulhj neglect not or cast aivaij mercy, in what 
estate soever we are. 

Doct, In the next place observe, GocVs mercy extends to this ternjyoral life. 
We think his mercy is only for things that belong to life everlasting. 
No. The same love and mercy that gives us heaven, it is the same that 
gives us our daily bread ; and therefore the same faith we must have to 
God for the things of this life that we have on him for the other Hfe in 
heaven. And thus did the saints, as we may see in Heb. xi. 4, seq. 

Use 2. This should direct us not to rest in deliverance, hut to look to the 
ground of it, the mercy of God, and endeavour to taste the love and mercy 
of God in his gifts, for all his gifts are less than his mercy. This will 
cause us to have more comfort in our daily bread than the wicked have in 
all their abundance. 

Use 3. Thirdly, We should learn from hence, hi giving, to give thy soul 
and affection ; let thy brother have thy heart with thy gifts, and thus shalt 
thou imitate thy heavenly Father. 

Use 4. Lastly, If the very recovery from sickness comes from God's free 
love and mercy, what can ive look for by merit? If health for Epaphroditus 
his body came from the free mercy of God, how can we expect for to merit 
the salvation of our souls. No. It must be from God's free grace and 
mercy in Jesus Christ. 

And not on him only, hut on me also. 

As if he had said. It may be for him it had been good to have been 
taken away, and to have remained with Christ, but God had mercy on me 
in sparing him. 

Ohj. But it may be objected. How can it he the mercy of God that spared 
him, whenas God had rather shewed his mercy in taking him away from the 
evil to come, and in placing him with himself in glory ? and Paul, he desired 
' to be dissolved and to be with Christ,' and said it was far better for him 
so to be. 

A71S. I answer, life, and especially health, is God's merc}^ for without 
it life is no life. But why, and how ? 

1. Because by it %ve recover our sjnritnal comfort and assurance of heaven, 
Ps. xxxix. 13. To this end David prayed, ' Spare me a little, that I may 
recover my strength.' 

2. Secondly, In regard of others' health, life is a blessing. Thus, Heze- 
kiah desired it, that he might get assurance of his salvation, and praise the 
Lord, Isa. xxxviii. 22. 

3. Thirdly, Life is to be desired as a blessing from God, in regard of the 
church, that ice might do good; for after death we are receivers only, and not 
doers. All the good we convey to others, we must do it while we live here. 
Therefore it is not unlawful to desire to live to see thy children brought up 
in the fear of God, and yet let that be with a resignation to God's will and 
purpose. We see Christ, that had contrary desires, who came to perform 
his Father's will and to die willingly, yet he said, ' Let this cup pass from 
me,' Mat. xxvi. 39 ; for the soul is to be carried to desire as the objects 
are offered. If thou beest well, rejoice in it, and count it as God's blessing. 
If thou beest sick, patiently submit thyself to God's will, and count it as 


his merciful dealing with thee. Indeed, as we look on death being an 
enemy to our nature, and a destroyer thereof, we desire it not. Yet, con- 
sidering it as God's decree and will, say still, 'Thy will be done, Lord, 
and not mine.' Paul, he considered for himself it was better to die, but 
looking to the Philippians, ' nevertheless, to abide in the flesh is better for 
you,' Phil. i. 24, Learn from hence the sweet estate of God's children ; 
whether he lives or dies, all is mercy ; and this they have by being assured 
they have their part in the covenant of grace. Labour therefore to find an 
interest therein for thyself. Observe, in the next place, God does good to 
us by others, as here he conveys yood to Paid by Kpaphroditus his life. Let 
us therefore praise him for parents, friends, benefactors ; for by them God 
hath mercy on us. God uses man for the good of man, that he might knit 
the communion of saints together more straightly.'-''= No doubt but the apostle 
Paul had begged Epaphroditus his life from God, and he here acknowledges 
it as a great mercy of God. Thus ought we to acknowledge God's mercy 
on us, by taking mercy on others for our sakes. 

VEKSE 27. 
Ijest I should have sorrow on sorrow. 

Our blessed apostle had sorrowed much for the sickness of Epaphroditus ; 
if he had died, he had had wave on wave. Observe, God's children have 
not sorrow on sorrow. We have matter of sorrow while we are here, as our 
corruptions, and the troubles of the church. These minister unto us 
matter of grief while we are here in this vale of tears. Let us not therefore be 
delicate nor dainty. We must sow in tears here, if we would reap here- 
after in joy. We must shed tears, if we would hereafter have them wiped 
away. Yet is the sorrow of a Christian mingled ever with joy to support 
them. The Lord he weighs and measures the distresses of his children. 
The rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the godly man's back, Ps. cxxv. 3. 
And this mingled estate must be till we come into heaven, where all tears 
shall be wiped away. 

Obj. But it will be objected, David had sorrow upon sorrow : one depth 
calls another, saith he, Ps. xlii. 7. 

Ans. I answer. It is true there may be divers occasions of grief , but God 
doth so temper them as he giveth joy 112^071 joy, grace iqwn grace, and com- 
fort ujjon comfort; faith upon faith, patience upon patience; and it is much 
better to have access of comfort in extremities than to want extremities and 
occasions of sorrow, by reason of the good we receive by such trials. And 
there is no distress but we may gather ground of comfort to ourselves in 
them. Art thou sick ? Bless God that he hath left thee the use of reason 
and thy wits. Hast thou lost friends, and hath not God taken all away ? 
He leaves thee some, nay, he leaves his Spirit to accompany thee. Paul 
■was in prison, it is true, but did he want comfort ? No. God will raise us 
up with one hand as he casts us down with the other ; it is his ' aiercy w^e 
are not consumed,' Lam. iii. 22. But the wicked they shall have sorrow 
on sorrow. He lets them ruffle a while here, but at length their judg- 
ments come suddenly and unavoidably. He hath no mercy for them if he 
once begins. Thus did he add judgment to judgment on Pharaoh till he 
"was consumed ; and therefore upon little griefs they run into desperate 
courses, as Cain, Ahithophel. God suflers the wicked to add sin to sin, 
and so doth he add sorrow to sorrow. Lay up this for our comfort against 
* Qu. 'straitly'?— Ed. 


the ill time. God will not suffer us to be tempted above measure. He will 
either abate our trouble or enlarge our grace, so as it shall not overwhelm 
us. Note this example of God as one for us to imitate and to follow. 
When we see any one afflicted, let us not vex them the more by adding sorrow 
to sorrow. David he complains of a kind of men that were of the nature 
of the devil, going over where the wall is lowest, like ill humours that 
resort all to ill affected places. No. God's children have pitiful and com- 
passionate hearts. Examine therefore thy spirit, whether thou canst weep 
with them that weep ; for as the Spirit of God helps us in misery, so do 
those that are led by his Spirit. It is the custom, and hath been, of God's 
children, to comfort those in misery. Thus did Job's friends, although 
they erred in the performance thereof. 

VEKSE 28. 

I sent him. therefore more carefully. 

In this verse St Paul sets forth the end of sending Epaphroditus, viz., that 
they might have the more joy, and he the less sorrow. But it will be said, 
Paul had use of Epaphroditus himself; he was in prison ; he had none to 
comfort him. But it is no wonder for him, that could set light by his own 
soul for God's people, to part with a friend for the comfort of his people ; 
and this ought we also to respect, namely, the comforts of God's people 
above all. Thus did this apostle. He was content to forbear the joys of 
heaven for the good of the Philippians, in the first chapter. The children 
of God are of excellent spirits. They can overcome and deny themselves. 

That when you see him again you way rejoice. 

The Philippians hereby had a double cause of joy. First, sight of their 
pastor whom they loved. Seeing friends is more comfortable than all ways 
of hearing from them ; and the joys of heaven are commended to us by the 
beatifical vision we hear of these joys here. But when we see them, then 
is our joy accomplished. The second cause of joy was in this, that now 
they should see Epaphroditus, as given them anew and sent from God ; 
whose love, mercy, goodness, and power is more clearly seen in delivering 
men from danger than in preserving of men from falling into danger. It 
is more honour to God, and more comfort to men. For the Philippians 
received him as a token of God's love to them, and as an effect of their 
praj'ers. Let us take notice of the enlargement of God's love to us in 
delivering and enlarging any of our friends to us free from afflictions. 

And I may be the less sorrouful. 

The apostle was, and we must be sorrowful in this world ; but some- 
times more, sometimes less. For a Christian's estate is ever full of ebbs 
and floods. But of this I spake formerly. 

VERSE 29. 

Receive hbn therefore in the Lord tiith all gladness. 

Our apostle first entreats them generally ' to receive him ; ' then he 
shews the manner, ' in the Lord with gladness ; ' thence he grounds a 
general, ' make much of such.' But it may be urged — the apostle might 
have spared this exhortation, for no doubt but the Philippians being glad 
to see him would receive him. It is true ; but this is not all : they must 


receive liim in the Lord,' as a man of God ; as a man sent you from God ; 
as a messenger of Christ ; and receive him with a holy affection. 

Doct. A Christian must do all things in the Lord : marry in the Lord ; 
love in the Lord ; salute in the Lord. All matters, both of necessity and 
courtesy, must be in the Lord. A Christian must ' live in the Lord,' and 
he must * die in the Lord.' 

Reason. The reason is, for that a Christian in all looks to God. What- 
soever befalls him he receives, whatsoever he does, he does in the Lord, 
looking only to him, and depending on him. Carnal men contrarily do all 
things carnally : marries, loves, salutes carnally ; he lives carnally, dies 
carnally. But the Christian's life is ever to die and behold Christ in all 
things ; in all estates ; in all his thoughts, words, and deeds ; in life, in 
death. Let this acquaint us with the manner of a Christian's life and 
estate, and with the language of the Holy Ghost. 

And hold siicli in reputation. 

Others read it, ' make much of such' {b). The sense is the same with 
the former. * Esteem of such as they are ; ' esteem of such ministers that 
are faithful as he is ; of such Christians as he is ; such excellent Christians 
as he. So as the words have a double reference, as to both his general 
and particular calling. For his particular calling of the ministry, see how 
he is formerly commended ; that he was painful-i« and careful, and neglected 
his own life. Ministers, if they be such, they must be had in repute and 
esteem. If they be not of the best sort, surely they are of the worst. 
Angels and good men, none better than the good ; none worse than them 
if they turn. But especially ministers, if they be not good, they are un- 
savoury as salt ;f neither good for the ground, nor yet for the dunghill. 

Reason. The reason of this is, for by such as these are God conveys 
greatest good to men. He builds by them, he plants by them. They are 
watchmen, husbandmen, they are God's labourers ; nay, they are his angels, 
discovering to the church the secrets of God's counsel. They are as Job 
saith, but as ' one among a thousand.' Such surely as these are worthy 
of all respects. 

Obj. But it will be objected, theii are ever opposite to us, they cross men. 

Ans. Even then when they are most opjwsite they are to be esteemed the 
more, for they are ' the Hght of the world.' Their office is to discover the 
works of darkness. They are husbandmen to break up the fallow grounds 
of our hearts ; and it is our part to embrace them in doing their duties. 
For it is a note of a wicked man to count such as these troublers. It was 
Ahab's speech to Elijah, 1 Kings xviii. 17. God's children loves them 
and reverences them when they are most sharp ; for they know that they 
themselves do want such reproofs to check their corruptions ; they wish 
their corruptions might be ripped up thoroughly. This is impossible that 
carnal men should allow of this. They have beloved sins. When they 
are met with they are touched to the quick, no marvel therefore if they 
repine. A true Christian will acknowledge and esteem the meanest part 
of them blessed and beautiful. The carnal man may esteem ministers 
indeed, but such as cry ' Peace, peace, when there is no peace,' Jer. vi. 14 ; 
and surely such a prophet is a fit prophet for such a people. But let the 
true Christian love and reverence those that are the messengers of peace, 
and esteem of them by so much the more, by how much their degi-ee in 

* That ia, ' painstaking.' — G. 

t Qu. ' they are as unsavoury salt '? Cf. Mat. v. 13. — G. 

VOL. V. D 


grace is the greater ; for there will be an aflection suitable to the propor- 
tion of grace they have. 

And to this end observe with me some motives to incite us to this duty ; 
and first, 1. It is the character of the child of God, and a sign we are trans- 
lated from death to life, if we love and reverence the brethren. If we be 
brethren as we profess ourselves, we are led with the same spirit ; and 
therefore we ought to love those most especial that are means of begetting 
the grace of the Spirit in us. It is a part of grace to desire grace. Now 
there is no desire of grace but there must be a love of it ; and therefore if 
we will prove ourselves to be marked with the mark of God in our fore- 
heads, and that we are his children, let us get this character for a witness 
to us. 

2. The second motive in regard of God, — the former was in regard of 
ourselves, — those that God esteems most ive ought to make most account of. 
God spared not his own Son for their sake. The saints are precious in 
the eyes of the Lord. And in the second place, Christ he esteems of them 
above his own blood ; he gave himself for them freely. Thirdly, the angels 
they esteem of them. Christ says, Offend them not, for the angels in 
heaven behold the face of God continually. Mat. xviii. 10. Fourthly, the 
ministers esteem them. ' I suffer all for the elect's sake,' says Paul. The 
Spirit of God esteems them ; they are his temples to dwell in, 2 Tim. 
ii. 10. 

3. In regard of themselves they are to be esteemed, they are lively. 
They have the ' new creature ' in them; they have God's Spirit ever in 
them. All created excellency is as ' the flower of grass.' It withers sud- 
denly. But they have that which continues for ever, grace and the Spirit 
of God. They have the image of God seated in them. They have the 
word and the promises made sure to them. They are free-born ; free from 
hell, death, wrath. They are of disposition free ; they can want and they 
can abound. They are rich in the best riches, strong in the greatest 
strength. They overcome the devil, the world ; they overcome and conquer 
death, who is the king of fears. 

4. In the next place, in regard of the yood we reajy hy them, they are to 
be esteemed. God blesses us by them. They are the pillars of this totter- 
ing world. In regard of a few of God's elect not yet brought in, this world 
continues yet ; but if the number be accomplished once, God will no longer 
withhold his coming. Lot's presence in Sodom stayed God's wrath ; he 
could do nothing till he was gone. So Noah in the old world, Joseph in 
Egypt, Moses among the Israelites, they stopped the passage of God's 
wrath ; and therefore Job, xxii. 30, saith, ' He shall deliver the island of the 
innocent.' They are ' the chariots and horsemen of Israel ;' their prayers 
are our protectors. And thus mayest thou try thyself and thy estate ; for 
dost thou despise those that are good, thou art ranked amongst vile persons. 
Look 2 Tim. iii. 3, and such as are signs of the last times, wherein cor- 
ruption shall abound. Many things are much set by, but where are those 
that have their delight set on the excellent of the earth ? A wicked man, 
I deny not, may esteem some one that is good, but it shall not be for that 
they are good, but it may be for some by-respects of profit or pleasure that 
they shall reap thereby. They will commend stars that be within their 
own horizon ; praise martyrs being dead, whom, if alive, likely it is they 
would be the first persecutors of them ; for thirty pieces of silver, a little 
gain, sell even Christ himself, and make shipwreck of their faith. Yet the 
time will shortly come when these despised shall be had in greatest honour, 


and those that scorn tlaem now would bo glad to keep tliem company, and 
ever be with them. 

Quest. But it will be asked, Where are these men you speak of ? how is 
it they are not respected ? 

Ans. I answer, They are not known, * the world knows them not ; ' — 
First, Because it knows not their Father ; for if it esteemed him, it would 
esteem also of them ; and therefore, Secoitdh/, they are ' strangers and 
pilgrims,' although excellent in themselves. Thirdh/, ' Their life is hid 
with Christ,' Col. iii. 3. They are eclipsed and disgraced. Disgraces, 
scandals, miseries, and their own infirmities, these make the children of 
God to be unknown ; yet those that know them will even in their infir- 
mities see many things worth observation and practice. Contrarily in 
wicked men what is to be respected ? Shall we think of them the better 
for their degree, state, comeliness, riches, or the like ? Surely these end 
in death, whenas all respects are taken away ; but goodness is more accom- 
plished in death, it shall never be at an end ; and therefore to be the 
rather respected and esteemed, and men also as they are good. Wicked 
men may be also esteemed, but not otherwise than as they are marked with 
the image of God, as they are in place of magistracy and government ; and 
so they are not esteemed, but their images they carry about with them of 
superiority. And therefore among these of the like kind those are to be 
most esteemed that are most good, and this is, as I said before, a note of a 
good man ; for what saith David, Ps. xv. 4 ? ' He shall enter into the taber- 
nacle of God, in whose e^'es a vile person is contemned ; but he honoureth 
them that fear the Lord.' To this end begin with thyself. How dost thou 
value thyself? Dost thou do it carnally ? How then canst thou esteem 
aright of others ? Be therefore of Theodosius his mind, ' value thyself 
according to thy measure in grace and assurance of salvation' (c). What 
though the world think basely of thee ! So did it of those saints, Heb. 
xi. 38. They thought them unworthy to live. But remember God is not 
ashamed to be called our God and Father. Heaven is ours, Christ, grace, 
and glory are all ours. Thus by esteeming thys&lf aright thou shalt begin 
to reverence that in others which thou so much accountest of in thyself ; 
and we all together shall find what God esteems most of, and of whom, 
when we shall be together crowned with joys unspeakable, which are hidden 
from the eyes of the world. It appears not to them what we shall be, the 
glory being such and so great as they, judging carnally, cannot conceive 

VERSE 30. 

Because for the ivork of Christ he rvas nigh to death. 

This work of Christ especially aims at works of mercy to Paul while he 
was in prison, and for these he is said to be nigh to death. By his long 
and tedious journey he took a sickness, and thereby was nigh to death. 
And these are called ' the works of Christ ;' partly because all good works 
are from Christ — for he commands them, he allows them, he did them — 
and partly also because in the doing of them our aim is at Christ's honour. 
Su tJien the excellency of good icorks coiisists not in doing those which are good 
in their own nature, but in well doing of them. All our particular actions 
must be done with having an eye on and a respect to Christ. What if 
therefore thou doest any good thing with an eye on credit or a good name, 
nay, if of mere pity, without respect of Christ's command, example, and 


obedience thereunto ; all that thou doest in this manner cannot merit the 
name of a good work, or a work of Christ. For Christ saith, that which 
you do to any of his little ones you do to him. And do you think that he 
will take it done to him, when he seeth in thy heart that thou regardest 
by-respects, and never intendest him in the thing thou doest ? No. You 
did it for commendation, to get popular kpplause, or for your own profit, 
or the like. Let it not be with us in this manner. Let us do all things 
commanded in the second table, as in obedience of the first, to glorify God. 
Let us do good works thoroughly, though they cost us labour, cost, and 
danger ; also pray zealously, give cheerfully. * Cursed is he that doth the 
work of the Lord negligently,' Jer. xlviii. 10. Give freely therefore to 
every one in whom Christ comes a-begging to thee. * This is pure religion 
before God and undefiled, to visit the fatherless and widows,' James i. 27 ; 
but see that you keep yourselves ' unspotted of the world.' And these 
things done as they ought to be, will comfort us on our deathbed, and be 
an assurance to our consciences of our faith, and will strengthen us when 
all other works, done for any self-respect, shall be so far from comforting 
us, as they shall weaken and discomfort us, and bear witness to our guilty 
consciences of our hypocrisy. But to proceed. It may seem St Paul was 
ill advised of his work of Epaphroditus, that he called it a work of Christ, 
when it had like to have cost him his life. Yet ought it not to seem 
strange, for by this very pattern we learn not to avoid or fly from the doing 
of any rvork of Christ ; no, though by doing of it we incur danger of our lives. 
For the best good must take the chief and first place with us ; and by how 
much the soul is more excellent than the body, by so much is the good of 
the soul to be preferred before the good of the body. He that hates not 
father, mother, yea, his own life, in respect of God's glory, cannot be the 
disciple of Christ. God would have us exercise our judgments in these 
things beforehand, that we may go about all such things with a holy and 
zealous resolution. Hence we may gather grounds to answer divers doubts. 

1st Quest. As, first, irhether in time of jwrsecution xve ought to lose our lives 
or deny the truth '!■ 

Ans. To this I answer, out of the example of Epaphroditus, afiirmatively, 
that we ought rather to lose our lives than deny the truth ; for God's truth 
is better than our lives. It was commendable in Priscilla and Aquila that 
they laid down their necks for Paul's life, Ptom. xvi. 3, 4 ; much more is 
the truth of God's word to be esteemed above man's life. And they are 
counted wise that have that esteem ; as the martj'rs, whose estate is 
accounted a blessed estate. 

2d Quest. Furthermore, it will be asked, Whether a minister ought to leave 
his congregation in the time of j^estilence, or not ? 

Ans. I answer, upon the same ground, he ought not ; for he is not, in 
regard of the work of God, to esteem his own life. But so as he is not 
bound to a particular visitation of every one whom it hath pleased God to 
visit with sickness, neither ought the sick party to require this at the 
hands of the pastor ; but rather to reserve him to the general good of all 
of them, and the rather to spare him. Thus did Beza. And in the law 
the leprous person was to go about and to cry ' Unclean, unclean,' to the 
end that others might not unawares be polluted by him. And therefore 
every one ought to be a good husband for himself, to lay up with himself 
grounds of comfort against such a time as it may please God to afflict him 
in any such manner. Another question may hence be answered. 

8d Quest. Whether a man may equivocate to save his own life? 



' A71S. I answer : If a man be lawfully called ,to answer for himself, he 
must know that he ought to tell the truth, and not to be ashamed thereof; 
for why do men live but to live honestly, and to keep a good conscience ? 
And it is more necessary that truth should flourish and be cleared than 
that thou shouldst live. Those that now are ashamed to confess the truth, 
the God of truth will be ashamed of them hereafter. And therefore a fourth 
question may arise. 

4th Quest. Whether a man may break prison to save himself? 

Am. I answer: Thou oughtest not to do anything that may endanger 
another man to save thine own life ; and therefore mayest not, by break- 
ing of prison, endanger the jailor's life to save thyself. And the reasons 
are, for that it shames the truth and equity of thy came ; and therefore when 
the prison doors were open Paul would not fly. Acts xvi. 28, scq. Peter 
did it indeed, he came out of prison ; but it was an extraordinaiy and 
miraculous deliverance by the command of the angel, Acts xii. 11. 
Secondly, it is a contempt of magistracy and laiv ; for every man is to be 
governed by and to submit himself to the law. 

5th Quest. Again, some have doubted ivhether a minister, beiny called to a 
place of umrholesome air, ivhether he may leave it. 

Ans. I answer : Let them consider before they go whether they shall be 
able to endure or not ; but if they be once called, and are there, let them 
look to the salvation of God's people, and provide for themselves as they 
may. We see Epaphroditus neglects his own life for the service of God. 

Gth Quest. A sixth question or doubt may hence be resolved, Whether, 
in case of persecution, a minister may fly. 

Ans. i answer: We may fly for our own safeties ; and a minister may, 
if there be those left that being good shepherds will stand for the flock, 
that it be not scattered. Yet if God gives thee a spirit of courage to hold 
out, consult thou with God by earnest prayer for the direction of his Holy 
Spirit, and he will assuredly direct thee ; for if out of thine own confidence 
thou shouldst stand out, and afterward give back, it would weaken and 
discourage others, who else it may be would stand out. Yet if thou beest 
once taken, whether thou art a minister or not, thou art under the law, 
thou must obey. 

1th Quest. And in the seventh place, ice may and ought to he ready to lay 
down our lives for the commonwealth, for common good is to be preferred 
before private good. The hand doth endanger itself for the good of the 
head, and therefore a private luan may venture himself to save a public 
person ; and from hence is grounded the lawfulness of a Christian war. 

Quest. But it will be asked, How shall we come to this resolution, to lay 
down our lives for the truth ? 

Ans. I answer : First, thou must labour to have thy judgment enlightened, 
discern of the order of good things ; and this only a Christian can get to 
account of his life but slightly in comparison, knowing that it is ' but a 
vapour that soon vanisheth,'' James iv. 14, and that the peace _ of con- 
science will never leave a man till it hath brought him to eternity ._ He 
knows also the terrors of conscience are above all terrors, and that it will 
never leave him. He knows the world cannot be worth a soul, that no- 
thing can redeem it being once lost ; and these things being truly learned, 
we shall be ready to deny father, mother, yea, our very life, if they onco 
oppose Christ ; and thus shall we beforehand get a resolution by daily 
considering these things, and a mind truly prepared for all trials. And to 
that end put cases with thyself. Now, what thou wouldst do or suffer 


rather than be drawn to oflfend God, if the time of trial were now to come. 
If thy heart doth tell thee that thou canst forego all, and countest them as 
nought in respect of Christ, surely God he accepts of this thy resolution. 
If thou canst not find this in thee, know for a certainty thy faith is but 
weak. And therefore consider with thyself, that if thou come to this, to 
lose all for Christ, thou shalt be no loser. The peace of conscience is 
above all good that can be desired ; and [consider] that thy life is not 
thine own, for both it, our estate, friends, are all of God's gift to us, who 
may take them when he will. But if they be lost for God's service, thou 
shalt be no loser. It cannot stand with God's justice to sutler it. Let 
this bring shame upon many that will do nothing for the church, lose no 
credit amongst the wicked men, part with no jot of their goods, take no 
pains nor labour. We see it that martyrs they will spend their blood. 
Esther counted not her life dear unto her : ' If I perish, I perish,' iv. 16. 
And yet these are loath to venture displeasure of some inferior, mean 
person. How can such ever think to get assurance of salvation ? In this 
case those that thus love their lives do hate them, and that which they 
fear shall fall suddenly on them ; as it was with those that, starting aside 
for fear, and denying their profession, thinking to save themselves from 
the fire, they fell into a worse fire, the hell of a guilty conscience, which 
cannot be quenched, nor they made insensible thereof. 


(a) P. 42. — ' See what he is by his diseases and sicknesses, say they of Calvin, 
■who, as Beza writes of him, was much afflicted that way.' Beza speaks very touch- 
ingly of the last illness of the great Eeformer, who, as another has observed, seemed 
to forget in his over-studiousness that he had a body as well as a soul to care for. 

(6) F. 49. — '" And hold such in reputation." Others read it, "make much of such." ' 
The original is nai rovg roiovrovg ivrifjLovg i-^ztz = ' and such, e.g., as Epaphrodi- 
tus, hold in honour.' 

(c) P. 51. — ' Be therefore of Theodosius his mind, value tliyself according to thy 
measure in grace and assurance of salvation.' Many similar sayings are put into 
the mouth of this famous Emperor by the Puritans ; but it seems impossible to trace 
their authorities. Consult Long's exhaustive Memoir, sub voce, in Dr Smith's Dic- 
tionary of Greek and Eomau Biography and Mythology. G. 




For title-page, &c., see Note prefixed to ' The Christian Work,' ante, page 2. 
This concludes Sibbes's Expositions proper. G. 




Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. — Philip. III. 1. 

This chapter contains a general exhortation to several duties. In this verse 
you have the manner of doing them — all must he done in rejoicing. From 
thence he proceeds to back other particular exhortations, with reasons and 
examples of himself, which we will speak of particulai'ly when we come at 
them. Now in this verse I will speak first of the compellation, ' brethren; ' 
then of the exhortation, * rejoice ; ' and lastly, of the limitation, ' in the 

1. The appellation, ' brethren.' By this loving compellation he labours 
to enter into their hearts and aflections ; well knowing that exhortations 
are of the more force, being directed to those that are persuaded of the good 
affection of the speaker. If exhortation comes from the pride of a man, 
the pride of a man in the hearers will beat it back, and give entertainment 

But why are Christians brethren ? 

First, They have the same beginning of life from the same Father: as also 
they have the same common brother, that is, Christ. They have the same 
womb, the church ; the same food, the word of Grod. They have the same 
promises ; they are all heirs, all born to an inheritance. 

Furthermore, the word brother is a word of equality and of dignity : of 
equality — though in personal callings one is superior to other, yet this 
takes not away the common brotherhood. This should fill up the valleys 
of men's hearts dejected here, in regard of their mean estates ; as also pull 
down the mountains of the proud hearts of men, lifted up through these 
outward things. Kings must not lift up themselves in disdain of others, 
because all these personal respects end in death ; we carry them not to 
heaven. And in those respects that we agree in here, as in grace and 
goodness, we shall continue united for ever. And yet must we honour such 
as are in eminency, and acknowledge them as men worthy of all respect, 
and give them dignity according to their places. 

But further, this is a name cf dignity. It argues that we are not basely 



born, that wc are sons of God and heirs of heaven. Christ after his resur- 
rection, the first term he gives his disciples, ' Tell my brethren,' saith he, 
* I go to my Father and their Father.' 

This word is also a word of love ; and therewith the apostle insinuates 
the affections of the Philippians. Examine therefore thy affections towards 
the sons of God. If we love and respect them as our own brethren, good 
is our estate ; if we hate them, our estate cannot be good. 

And in the second place. Let not this word be appropriated to some, and 
not to others, which are notwithstanding of the same number. For one 
brother cannot make another no brother ; for it is one and the same Father 
that makes brethren. So long therefore as thou seest anything of Christ 
in any, break not off thy affection, and disdain not the name of brother to 
such ; for where the Spirit is, it works in us a resemblance of God ; and 
where it stamps his image, it makes them brethren. 

2. Exhortation, ' rejoice.' It is not only an affection, but a duty that 
we are enjoined. Wherein first observe, 

(1.) It is a Christian'' s duty to rejoice. It is commanded here. Ministers 
are enjoined to speak comfort to such, Isa. xl. 1, ' Comfort ye, comfort ye, 
my people ; ' _ and Christ came to ' bind up the broken in heart,' Isa. Ixi. 1, 
and the ministers sent to shew men their unrighteousness, Job xxxiii. 23. 
The spirit that is in such is the spirit of joy ; and therefore joy is reckoned 
as a fruit of the spirit, Gal. v. 22. 

And why should not Christians rejoice ? They are free from the spiritual 
Egypt, from greatest miseries. Nay, why should not we sing as the 
Israelites did after their deliverance ? Our enemies and deliverance is far 
greater than theirs. And we have the greatest prerogatives. We have 
here an assured hope of eternal perfect happiness hereafter; we have 
'peace with God,' Kom. v. 1. We have free access in all our wants to 
the throne of grace ; and we have a God ready to hear all our prayers, and 
to help us. We have many gifts already received. Christ is already given 
us. We are in a state of regeneration. And for the time to come, we have 
promises from God, the God of truth, that nothing shall separate us from 
Christ. Surely these are great causes of joy in us; and having such things 
as these, we dishonour them, the giver of them, and ourselves and our pro- 
fession, if we rejoice not in them. 

(2.) In the second place observe, that it belongs only to Christians to 
rejoice. ^ Others have neither cause of joy, nor commandment to rejoice. 
The ministers and prophets are bidden to bid such howl and lament, to 
shew them their miserable estate.* And indeed what ground can a con- 
demned person have of joy ? For the wicked, till they have remission of 
sins, they are in a damned estate ; and though they will snatch this to 
themselves and say that they are sure to be saved, yet is salvation not 
their portion. They joy indeed, but it is in sin ; in seeing or doing evil to 
others. Or if sometimes they joy in the gospel (for a wicked man may do 
so), it is but a forced joy, and much hke hot waters to a cold fit of an ague. 
It brings heat and expulscs cold for the present, but it burns them after. 
So this joy seems to comfort them now, but when trial comes it fails him, 
and makes him more disconsolate to see himself thus beguiled. Fitter it 
were for such to be first humbled and brought to the sight of their estate, 
than to administer comfort to them. To speak peace where none belongs 
is to undo men. It is the broken that must be healed, and the weary that 
must come to Christ. 

*■ Cf. Jer. XXV. 34.— G. 


(3.) Limitation. In the third place, observe the limitation of this joy : it 
must be ' in the Lord ;' that is, in Christ, who in the New Testament is 
often called Lord. And he is our Lord : first, by gift ; God hath given us 
all to Christ. Secondly, by conquest ; he hath gotten victory of Satan. And 
thirdly, by man-iaf/e ; and therefore we may well call him Lord, and rejoice 
in him, because he is our Lord ; for by him we come to conquer all our 
enemies ; by him we have peace, Eom. v. 1. He makes us kings and 
priests, and brings us to heaven. 

Now, for the practice of this duty of rejoicing in the Lord, that we may 
be encouraged, let us consider how it is a means not only of adherence to 
God, but also of obedience to his laws. 

[1.] Adherence to God. Joy, if it be found,* knits us firm to God, so as 
we rest contented in him as our only and suflicient joy, seeking for no other 
joy in any other thing. To us Christ is made ' ail in all' that we should 
solace oui'selves in his fulness, which if we truly do, we will count all other 
things as despised, assuring ourselves they cannot minister or add any jot 
of sound comfort at all ; and therefore will not endure any thought of mix- 
ture of other things with Christ, thereby to make him more sufficient and 
complete for our joys to rest on. 

[2. J Obedience to his laws: for joy stirs up cheerfulnsss to every duty, 
and makes all duties acceptable to God and man. For the want hereof 
many are dead and dull in good duties ; and where a large portion of this 
joy is, it will remove all lets and delays to duty. It doth not only enable 
us to, but in, duty. Cain no doubt came cheerfully to a good duty, to 
sacrifice ; but for want of this cheerful and joyful spirit, what was his beha- 
viour in the performance thereof? ' His countenance was cast down,' Gen. 
iv. 6. This God espies suddenly, and so he doth in all our dull perform- 
ances. For he looks things should be done cheerfully, and reason too, for 
he hath left us a treasure of excellent promises to encourage us. We see 
it in men. They love when a thing is done cheerfully ; they know it 
betokens love in the party that doth it : and can we then think it strange 
that God requires it ? Again, if we can fashion ourselves to this duty, 
God hath promised to increase our joy more abundantly. And he per- 
formed it to Hezekiah, 2 Chron. xxix. 36. He will give delight as a reward 
to him that delighteth in his work. And therefore we ought to labour 
to bring ourselves to this duty ; to the obtaining of which observe these 

Means to get joy. First, Consider that joy comes from faith. For it is 
the sense of our reconciliation with Christ that makes us rejoice, Kom. v. 2, 
and 1 Pet. i. 6. Now, therefore, whatsoever strengthens faith, strengthens 
also our joy ; and contrarily what weakens the one, must of necessity weaken 
the other. 

Furthermore, joy comes from, j^eace. Whatsoever, therefore, disturbs our 
peace, must needs disturb om' joy. Therefore Satan, to despoil us of our 
joy, he spoils our faith through our sins ; and by them he weakens our 
hope and our comfort. What is to be done then ? Surely repair to the 
fountain of health, the well of joy, the word of God, Isa. xii. 3. And from 
thence must we draw all our comfort. Use, therefore, the ordinances of 
God, but use them in the Lord, in obedience to his commandment, and 
expect the issue with patience. Many there are that use the means, but 
take no joy at all in them. Why ? They do it not as in obedience to 
God's command, but they rest in the deed done, and they think God is 

* Qu. ' sound ' ? — Ed. 


bound to give them joy. God justly denies such that which they pre- 
sume of. 

In the second place : Pray that your joy may he full. See this in most of 
David's psalms. At the first he complains for the want of God's presence, 
of God's wrath and anger, but comes off with a large portion of comfort. 
* Depart from me, ye wicked, for the Lord hath heard my prayer,' Ps. vi. 8. 
In the use of all means, therefore, join prayer : pray for faith, for hope, 
and such graces as may bring joy. Though at first thou findest thyself to 
be cold, to have little or no comfort at all, yet give not over ; thou shalt at 
length find plenty thereof. Remember the woman of Canaan : at the first 
despised and called dog, but what did her constancy gain ? A gracious 
answer, * woman, great is thy faith : be it to thee as thou desirest,' 
Mat. XV. 28. 

In the third place : Remember former times, as David did, Ps. Ixxvii. 6. 
He was so oppressed, his ' sore ran in the night, and ceased not,' as he 
saith. But then, ' I remembered the days of old,' &c. Consider thou also 
in thy deepest aflliction, times were once when thou hadst the clear and 
comfortable light of God's Spirit present with thee. He will not leave thee, 
his nature is unchangeable, &c. 

In the Jmirth place : Have society with the saints, and keep company with 
those that are good. And as the two disciples' hearts did burn when they 
talked with Christ, so verily thou shalt find this heat of "comfort by little 
and little to increase. For God blesses the communion of saints, and such 
as are discerning Christians can tell us more, and opportunely bring things 
to mind which thou thyself rememberest not, and can inform our judg- 
ments when they are blinded with grief and melancholy. Use, therefore, 
the company of the good, when thou findest doubts arise, and make thy 
griefs known to some wise and judicious Christian. For the devil is too 
strong for any one alone. He will prevail against thee. Thou wilt be too 
weak to wrestle with him hand to hand. It is no wonder, therefore, that 
melancholy persons are so destitute of comfort. 

Quest. It will be asked, May we not rejoice in friends' society, deliverance 
from dangers, and the like good things of this world ? 

Ans. I answer. Yes ; and yet joy in the Lord also ; for whenas whatso- 
ever we have, we receive it as a token of God's particular love to us in 
Christ, who both gives us our daily bread and the word of life ; comforts 
both heavenly and earthly ; these outward things then, I say, do strengthen 
the faith of a Christian, and thereby our joy is strengthened. Wherefore 
we may thus joy in them, nay, it is our duty to do it. The wicked they 
indeed receive them, but only as from God's care of the general good of 
the world, or the race of mankind ; and therefore can take no joy truly 
from them as the child of God doth : who in the right use of them, first 
rejoiceth that he is the child of God, and is reconciled to him in Christ : 
that Christ is his ; and then that he having the field, hath also the pearl. 
Mat. xiii. 45, seq. All blessings belonging to this life and a better are in 
Christ made his, and he so rejoices in them, as he refers the comfort and 
strength that he receiveth from them to the honour of God. God's chil- 
dren receiving good things from him, are threatened for not rejoicing in 
them, Deut. xxviii. 47. In the 45th verse he saith, ' The curses shall be 
upon thee, for that thou servest not the Lord thy God with joyfulness and 
gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things.' And it is expressly com- 
manded, Deut. xxvi. 11, ' Thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the 
Lord thy God hath given thee, and thine house.' 


Quest. But it may be questioned, TFAy, if this he true, are God's chil- 
dren so disconsolate ? none are so much troubled in conscience as they ? 
I answer, 

1. Their sorrow proceeds not from their good' estate, in that they are 
Christians, but from the want of the 2:)erfections to make them absolute Christians 

2. They either do not know themselves, or if theij do, because they glorify 
not God, nor adorn their 2J>'ofession, God justly suffers his joy to be hid, 
by hiding the comfortable presence of his Spirit. 

3. God's children's joy, though it be great, yet is not discerned of the 
world. It is a hidden joy. The feast is kept in the conscience. It is not 
seen of the world, which discerns all things carnally. Carnal joy is always 
outward, and easy to express. 

4. While God's children live here, they have ever a mixture of the two 
affections of joy and griif, to temper one another ; for fulness of joy is only 
in heaven. This life will not endure perfect jo}' ; but ever when there ia 
cause given of joy, we have something to humble us, and to keep us from 
being exalted above measure. As Paul had some base temptation, which he 
calls the ' prick of the flesh,' who therefore bids us to fear and tremble, that 
we lose not the sense of God's Spirit by the prevailing of our corruptions. 

Obj. But it will be objected, that the Christian is fuller of sorrow than 
joy. To which I answer, 

Ans. It arises either from ignorance of the grounds of comfort, or from 
ivant of apjilicatioyi of them. When a man is a young Christian, newly 
begun, he knows not nor understands what grounds he hath of joy. They 
are as children, that know not their inheritance at the first, nor their father's 
love ; especially if he correct them, they think he loves them not. Even 
those that are grown Christians fail too often in this, either by misapplying 
the grounds, and misjudging of their estate ; or sometimes through the 
distemper of their body, through melancholy. These judge of grace by the 
measure, when they should judge by the truth of it, be it never so little. 
For it is not the measure that is the evidence of the child of God, but truth 
of grace. For there are degrees of grace : in some more, in some less, and 
in one more in one time than in another. Take, therefore, a Christian in 
his right estate, one that is a grown Christian, whom neither melancholy 
nor temptation doth trouble ; take him, I say, as he should be, he doth 
rejoice more soundly, with true joy and hearty, than any one can, being an 
ungodly man, be he never so merry. However, this we may be sure of, a 
Christian hath the greatest cause to rejoice, and, as I said before, he ought 
to stir it up in him by all means. And therefore, however indisposed he 
be thereto, he ought to search what good things God hath wrought in him. 
If he doth not know his estate, he cannot praise God as he should. He 
must meditate also of the vanity of all worldly things. They vanish, and 
they that put their trust in them ever failed of any true joy. It never 
comes to the heart of a man. They are not deep enough to comfort men 
that meet with afflictions. They only touch the fancy, as the fancy of a 
beast may be delighted. 

Let him also comjmre all discomforts that can come, ivith this joy in the 
Lord, and he shall find that it countervails a world of sorrow. This has 
no end ; they are momentary, they last but for a night. This is in the 
Lord, in whom is fulness of joy. This made the saints of God so resolute, . 
that they set light by all afflictions whatsoever ; and therefore, in their 
greatest afflictions they have the sweetest joy and greatest comforts. And 


let him also consider, tliat by this he avoids the reproach of religion, and 
shews the force and efficacy thereof to be such as is formerly declared. 

And let him take heal of the hindrances of this joy. As first of all, of sin 
committed and not repented. Let him repent betimes, else it keeps a man 
dead, and dull, and backward. So long as this Achan is unfound, it will 
keep him in discomfort, 1 Chron. ii. 7. Let him take heed of secret pur- 
poses, either to sin or to favour himself in any one sin, how small soever, 
for time to come. This will rob him utterly of comfort, for joy cannot 
lodge in such a heart. ' If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will 
not hear me,' saith Da.vid, Ps. Ixvi. 18. 

Furthermore, Let him take heed of negligence in good duties. For it is not 
enough to do them, but he ought to stir up the graces of God in him to do 
them thoroughly ; and he must strive against his corruptions. For Chris- 
tians have never so much joy, as when they have laboured with their 
endeavours to overcome their imperfections in good actions. 

Lastly, Let him take heed of casting himself into dull or dead acquaintance. 
It is true we cannot avoid conversing with them, but we must have no secret 
and inward acquaintance but with the best. A companion of fools shall be 
beaten, and the wise with the wise will learn wisdom. We are all travellers 
to heaven ; let us therefore choose such company as may, as it were, be a 
chariot to carry us thither, with their good example and discourses. And 
with the prophet David, think it a great grief when we have not such society 
as ma}'^ do us good. ' Woe is me, that I am constrained to dwell in the 
tents of Meshech,' Ps. cxx. 5. And therefore, if heretofore any of us have 
been faulty, let us take warning of this hereafter. 


To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, hut for you 

it is safe. 

Although the apostle had formerly bidden them to rejoice, in the former 
chapter, 18th and 28th verses, yet notwithstanding he bids them 'rejoice' 
again, saying that it is safe for them to hear the same things often, and it 
is not grievous to him to write the same things twice. Besides, he doth 
also bid them to beware of such as may hinder their joy, as dogs and those of 
the concision, preventing* thereby secret objections which they might make 
against repeating the same things. Whence we may in general observe, 

Boct. 1. The udsdom of the ivord and Spirit of God, to know secret objec- 
tions that might be made, and to prevent them ; turning away thereby what- 
soever might hinder the force of the word. 

Doct. 2. And in the second place, it teaches us that it is the duty of those 
that mean to prevail by instruction, to know the secret dispositions of those 
they deal ivithal. For when their minds are not quieted or cleared from 
doubts and hindrances, they are not fit to entertain any good counsel at all. 

Doct. 3. And thirdly (for I cannot stand on these things), it shews our 
dispositions by nature, to count repetition of the same things to he tedious and 
irksome. For since the fall of man, we wander in our thoughts, affections, 
and intentions ; and it is a part of our loss, to lose our constancy and 
settled disposition. Wherefore, we find it noted of the Israelites, that they 
were weary of one kind of food, although it is called 'angels' food,' Numb. 
xi. 6. 

Doct. 4. In the fourth place (which I intend more to stand upon), observe 
"^ That is, ' anticipating.' — G. 


witli me, that dwelling on the same things is necessary, even for the best Chris- 
tians. And the reasons are, 

Beason 1. First, Because truth is supernatural, and our minds are carnal; 
and that which must change these our minds must he assiduous, or else our 
minds will sink into their first estate. We are naturally changeable, and 
therefore had need to have the truth, as at the first to change us, even so 
to be continually presented to our souls, to keep us perpetually in this 
spiritual change. And a 

Beason 2. Second reason may be, because we often regard not the truth 
at the first, second, or third time urged and taught unto us. Wherefore, Job 
xxxiii. 14, it is said, ' God speaketh once or twice, yet man perceives not.' 
Therefore, if the caution and point be necessary, the reception must needs 
be necessary also. 

Beason 3. In the third place, there is such a breadth and depth in the 
points delivered out of the word of God, that although ive hear often the same 
thing, yet ire never come to understand the full extent of them. Our souls are 
narrow. We cannot at the first so soundly and deeply consider of them, 
neither can we understand so many particulars as otherwise we should ; for 
in every Christian truth there is milk for children and strong meat, which 
requires digestion and likewise repetition. 

Beason 4. A fourth reason may be, because our corruptions daily increase 
and grow upon us, and variety of occasion and worldly business being natural 
to us, and therefore more delightful, are too powerful, and do thrust out the 
consideration of divine truths, ivhich are convnonly against the hair. And we 
cannot have variety of two things in our minds at the same time in strength. 
Whence it comes to pass that the better is ever more subject to be thrust 
out, and therefore had need to be hammered in with often repetition and 
insisting upon again and again. 

Beason 5. A fifth reason may be, Because we work as well as understand, 
weakly or strongly. When we work well, we must have things present 
strongly in the understanding ; as when we tell men of God's justice, 
omnipresence, of the day of judgment, of death, and the like. The lively 
and present remembrance of these things keeps the mind of man so in 
frame as it cannot will any evil, no more than a lewd person will offend in 
the presence of the judge. And this lively remembrance of things is 
wrought chiefly by repetition and often enforcing the same things, and it 
makes the mind to be wholly taken up therewith. And therefore it is a good 
way, when we would do any good action well, to be taken up with reading 
or hearing of good, by way of preparation thereunto. And the want of 
the presence of good things in our mind lays us open and makes us fit for 
all companies and occasions of sin. 

Beason 6. In the next and last place, our memories are very iveak to 
remember and to retain anything that is good. Since the fall they are broken, 
and good things sink through them as water through a sieve, and there- 
fore hath great need of remembrancers. And after this manner hath God 
dealt with man, as in the promise of the blessed seed. How often is it 
reiterated and typified ; and' to Abraham it is renewed seven times.* So 
God to David often renewed his promise concerning the kingdom, as also 
the promise concerning the deliverance of the people of Israel from captivity 
in Isaiah is often repeated. This also did Christ, the great doctor f of his 
church, in his parables. In one chapter [he] argueth one principal matter 

* Cf. Genesis xii. 1-3 ; xii. 7 ; xiii. 14-16 ; xv. 18 ; xvii. 8 ; xxiv. 7 ; xxv. 8. — G. 
t That is, teacher. — G. 


with four parables one after another,* although with some variety, teaching 
ministers thereby to do the like to avoid tediousuess. Eepetition in 
Scripture serves to divers ends ; sometimes for the stronger averring of the 
certainty thereof. Wherefore it was that Pharaoh's dream was doubled. 
Sometime for emphasis sake, as Christ did often, ' Amen, amen,' and ' in 
dying thou shalt die,' (a) and the like phrases. But the main end is, to 
stir up us and our aifections, and to keep them in life and action when they 
are stirred up. Therefore, 2 Peter i. 12, because they knew they could 
not be over sure of salvation, nor grow too much in grace, he says, ' So 
long as he lives he will put them in mind of such things.' 

Use 1. Let it not therefore be grievous to ministers to do what is for the 
safety of God's children. They must do it till they see practice come to per- 
fection, and they must cast and cast again. Peter he cast often and got 
nothing, yet at Christ's word he cast again. So must ministers. God that 
blesseth not every cast, may bless the last cast to the catching of many ; 
and therefore a minister had need of a fatherlike affection to his hearers, 
as St Paul had, 1 Thes. ii. 11. 

Use. 2. A second use may be for ourselves : if we hear the same things 
repeated, hear them as an impression which may carry force, and work upon 
our hearts more strongly than before. And know that God may work on 
us by one means at one time which he did not at another ; as a dart pierces 
deeper being cast by one than by another. And therefore let us not be 
weary of attendance on God's ordinances, for our corruptions daily increase 
as our age doth. Our minding of things is but slight, and our memory 
very brittle. And we must know that the word teaches doing and practising, 
as well as knowing. And therefore to conceive a necessity of a continual 
ministry to perfect a church as well as to begin it. The sacraments are 
necessary ; receive them often. The primitive church had them every 
Lord's day (b). Till we come to the holy land of that heavenly Canaan, 
let us submit ourselves to this manna. It is angels' food, and they desire 
to look into these mysteries, 1 Peter i. 12. And therefore take heed of 
fulness or loathing ; for when we come to that pass that we must have 
novum or nihil, God takes away this manna thus loathed. Thus did he 
with the Greek churches, Eev. i. and ii. They gave themselves not to 
the plain, sincere truth, but man's inventions, whereby God gave them over 
to strange opinions. And indeed it is a rule : none absents himself from 
God's word, but he is given over, and that justly, to believe toys ;t to attri- 
bute all praise and delight to this or that idle author, which it may be is 
heathenish or popish. The Greek churches, affecting novelties, were justly 
given over to Mahomet. But to a true Christian heart there cannot be more 
delight than in the experimental knowledge of Christ's death and office, of 
perseverance in grace. There are standing dishes in this Christian banquet. 
It is a sign God means to plague that person or nation that is delighted in 
such ill sauces. He will make them come out of our nostrils. We shall 
have our fill of them, and never hunger after the sincere milk of the word. 

Beware of dogs. 
Doct. 1. In this general exhortation, consider first the persons to whom 

* Viz. in Matthew xiii. the parables of the sower, of the tares, of the mustard seed, 
and of the leaven. — G. 
t That is, ' trifles.'— G. 


it is directed, to all the Philippians ; not only to the pastor, but even to the 
common Christians. ' They must beware of false teachers,' Is it so ? 
Then surely they ought to take notice of them, and to know them ; and 
therefore they ought to have rules to discern them by. Christ's sheep they 
discern between a wolf and a shepherd, John x. 4, 5. His sheep discern an 
heretic or false teacher from those that are true shepherds in the main 
points of Christian religion. And therefore, 1 John iv. 1, he bids all in 
general ' to try the spirits ;' and the apostle, 1 Thes. v. 21, bids them ' prove 
all things, and hold fast the good.' If they were then all of them bound 
to try and prove, they were no doubt bound to know the rules by which 
they were to try, which rules are only laid down in the word of God. 

Quest. But some popish heart may ask, How common people should know 
the word to be the word of God ? 

A»s. For answer, I would ask such an one, how they know the pope's 
canons, or any book of his constitutions, to be the pope's ? They will say, 
their teachers brings them in the pope's name, and they believe their 
teachers. So sa}^ we : we believe our teachers and ministers, who tell us 
this is the word of God. 

Ohj. But they object and say, that we make every one a judge. 

Ans. I answer, there is a threefold manner of judging. First, a judging 
whereby we discern of anj^thing ; and this every Christian must have, so 
as it cannot be any plea to him at the day of judgment, to say, my teacher 
did mislead me. No. Both the leader and he that is led, if they be blind, 
shall fall into the ditch. Mat. xv. 14. Then there is a second kind of 
judging, which is by way of direction. This is required principally in the 
pastor, to direct his flock. And there is a third kind : that is, of jurisdiction. 
This belongs to the church and the magistrate ; yet every one must have 
a judgment to discern the good from the bad. For he that knows not his 
master's will shall be beaten. 

In the second place, not only the young ordinary Christians, but 
even the best settled Christians had need to beware also. The Philippians 
were a church established in the truth. Eve was seduced, being in her 
innocent estate. But I need not stand on this at this time. I proceed to 
the duty, which is to * beware.'' Which word signifies : first, to discern of, 
then to avoid. And because those that are aware of evil, by nature will 
avoid it; therefore 'bew^are' here, intends both discerning and avoiding of 
evil. For the church of God in this world is ever subject to danger. And 
God sufiers it to be so : first, to try who be true, and who false ; and 
secondly, to try them that are good, and to be as an evidence to them of 
their own estates, so as where such trial and danger is, it is true, ingeniosum 
est esse Christianum. 

But concerning the words ' dogs, concision, evil workers,' they all signify 
the same thing; and he repeats the word * beware' thrice, to shew the neces- 
sity thereof. Take heed of them that urge works of the law with doctrines of 
faith, especially of pastors. Nay, take heed of these, for so the word in the 
original is, ' these dogs' (c). By ' concision,' he means those that urged 
circumcision, when it was out of date, and when it was dangerous to be ad- 
mitted of. But observe the term the Holy Ghost calls these ' dogs,' a strange 
term, and such an one as I should not have dared to have given them, had 
not the Holy Spirit led the way thereunto. And therefore since it is so, let 
us not be more modest than he is ; but boldly afiirm that iriclrd men are 
dogs. Now, wicked men are either without the church or within. Without 
the church, all are dogs: Mat. xv. 20, ' It is not meet to take the children's 

VOL. v. E 


bread and to cast it to dogs.' Of this number are all Turks and Jews, who 
were filii, children, but are canes, dogs. We were canes, but now through 
God's mercy are come to be JiliL All, therefore, that are without the 
church are dogs. But there are also dogs within the church ; and there- 
fore the Philippians were bidden beware of them, which St Paul needed 
not to have done if they had not been troubled with them. And those 
dogs he describes, in that they join works of the law and Christ together, 
in matter of salvation. These are in St Paul's esteem dogs. And the 
reason hereof may be grounded on God's esteem, on their behaviour towards 
other men, and in regard of themselves. For God's esteem, we may see 
it in Isa. Ixvi. 3 ; he detests them as dogs. For their behaviour towards 
men, whom they go about to seduce, they fawn on them, and use all man- 
ner of enticing, flattering, and false alluring words, Kom. xvi. 18. See the 
picture of a Jesuited papist, a pleasing, humane, fawning nature. They 
creep into houses ; and when these dogs cannot prevail by flattery, then 
they snarl and bark against them, by falsa calumnies, and slanders, and rail- 
ings, and bitter scoffs, and the like ; and this they do when they cannot bite. 
But having gotten power in their hand, they persecute with fire and sword, 
and the most exquisite torments that they can devise. In regard of them- 
selves also they are dogs, rotten in nature, corrupt in life, filthy in their 
own courts, devouring their own vomit ; and God justly punishing them, 
by suffering of them to heap up wrath in store, 2 Peter, ii. 22, and to 
return with the sow that was washed to wallow in the mire of corrupt 
courses. Hence we may observe and see, what a man is now brought to 
by sin. He that would be like to God is justly compared to the beasts 
that perish. Now all by nature are no better than dogs, who are all for 
their bellies, for present contentments, an envious and currish disposition 
against any that shall endeavour to cross them in their unlawful lusts ; and 
that rule of reason which should overrule him and amend him, he so 
abuses it, as thereby' he is made more like a devil than a dog.* Would we 
be then changed ? Let us attend on that word, that is able of lions to make 
lambs. It can cleanse us throughout, John xv. 3. It sanctifies and alters 
us. Moral precepts may restrain and alter outward practices. The word 
that alters the condition and nature of men, it is the word of him that works 
all wuth his Spirit. And therefore take heed of them, and deal not more 
with them than thou must needs. They will fawn ; they will not be dogged 
at the first : but till religion altereth him, assm-edly he hath a currish nature. 
But to proceed. He saith not only, ' beware of dogs' in general, but beware 
of these dogs of the concision. And these also ought we to beware of, for 
there is a perpetual litter of them. Though those that the apostle spake of 
are gone, yet the same spirit is now-a-days in many. Fawners they are 
and flatterers, yet do they bark at Protestants ; and of this sort are our 
Jesuited papists and seminaries. Our fathers were troubled with them. 
Let these take heed ; for were these men dogs that press circumcision with 
Christ ? and shall not such be also, that press merits with Christ, saints 
with Christ, and equal traditions with the word of God ? The dogs in St 
Paul's time had some excuse. Circumcision they urged, but it was first 
founded by God. But these men out of their own brain endeavour to 
establish fancies ; and where they cannot prevail by conference, they by 
scattering of books seek to accomplish their intents. Magistrates therefore 
in their place ought to look to them ; and every private person look to their 
own salvation. We ought also to take heed of neuters, such as are or 

* Qu. ' god ' ?— Ed. 


would be mediators, and will be of every religion, or rather of none ; who 
jumble religions, mixing truth and folsehood, light and darkness together. 
But he that made distinction between the ' seed of the woman' and the 
' seed of the serpent,' made also eternal distinction between religion and 
irreligion. Though Judas thought he might keep fair quarter with the 
Pharisees and his Master, yet his fawning kiss could not keep him, but 
desperation overtook him. So these neuters : let them fawn never so much, 
let them halt between two opinions never so long, they shall at length know 
that they have betrayed their religion ; and desperation shall at length 
assuredly overtake them, as it overtook Spira (d). Take heed of them. 
There hath been a continual brood of them. In the emperors' time the 
Jews had some liberty granted to them, because their ceremonies carried a 
show of a reverend antiquity. The Christians they were huUhrlum huinani 
generis ;■''• there were even then, as St Paul found, such Christians as, find- 
ing they were scorned, because the}' would be scorned of neither, took part 
with neither, f 

Quest. But some will say, What a great matter do you make of this ! 
Is it not policy and wisdom for us thus to avoid reproach, and to get the 
good will of all ? 

Ans. Remember what Christ says, ' He that denies me before men, I will 
deny him before my Father,' Mat. x. 33. True, say they, ' I yet may in- 
wardly be sound in my heart ; I may honour Christ, though outwardly I may 
please others.' AVhat place is left for profession ? ' With the mouth man 
confesses to salvation,' Rom. x. 10 ; and such as are ashamed to confess 
Christ before men, Christ may justly deny to acknowledge them in that 
fearful day of judgment. For shall we try all things to be sure of our tem- 
poral estate, and shall not we much more seek to assure our spiritual and 
eternal estate unto us ? God forbid. 

In the next place, let us not be discouraged or hindered in a good course. 
Though these dogs bark never so much, yet they are but like the dogs 
who bark against the moon. Though we meet with many changes, let us 
keep our course still constantly, without turning aside. For thou must 
look to be barked at beforehand. Thou art or shouldst be a stranger to 
this world, and then assuredly the dogs will take notice of thee. And com- 
fort thyself, thou slialt be admitted into thine own country, when these dogs 
shall be kept out, as it is in the last of the Revelations, Rev. xxii. 15. 
And though we cannot have too harsh a conceit of them in regard of their 
estate, yet are we to respect the image of God they carry about with them, 
and to esteem of them as of such as may become lambs. And thus did St 
Paul respect and reverence Agrippa. Yet see how sharp he is, not to those 
that are heathen, but to those that, making a profession of Christianity, 
did add circumcision to Christ, wherein we may observe his zeal for 
Christ's honour. 

Beware of evil xcorkers. 

Beware of such as in general were bad ; and in this particular especially 
they were ' evil workers,' thereby seducing men from Christ. Seducers 
therefore are evil workers, and magistrates ought to look to them. They 
are the keepers of the two tables, and are to look to the souls of men as 
well as to their bodies. Let also private members look to themselves, lest 
they be seduced by them. Neither is it likely that these were only seducers 
by false doctrine, but were also ill men and wicked livers ; for God justly 

* That is, ' the derision of the liumau race.' — G. t Qu. 'either '?— Ed. 


gives such up to wickedness in life tliat are seduced in judgment. And 
thus dealt he with the scribes and Pharisees : ' Do not after their works,' 
eaith Christ, Mat. xxiii. 3. Some think if they so live as none can lay any 
gross sin to their charge, they are good enough. It is no matter what the 
heart is, how ignorant, how dark ; God will bear with them. Alas ! poor 
ignorant men, is not the understanding God's, as well as the outward parts ? 
' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind,' Mat. xxii. 37. The 
understanding is sponsa reritatisJ' And know God looks to purit}^ of judg- 
ment. He cannot endure his children should be ignorant ; for it is a dis- 
honour to God for his children to conceit of things, in religion especially, 
otherwise than is fitting, yea, otherwise than they are. 

Beware of the concision. 

That is, as I formerly said, circumcision, called here by the name of 
concision, because it tended to cut and make a division and sect in the 
church, with a natural and proper elegance, not affected, describing and 
naming it by the effect. It is God's use to call things from the event and 
effect of them. * Why will you perish ?' Jer. xxvii. 13. That is. Why will 
you do those things that will lead you to destruction ? The end of them is 
death ; and those that neglect wisdom hate themselves. As it was also said 
to the Jews that neglected the gospel, ' They judged themselves unworthy of 
salvation,' Acts xiii. 46 ; because in effect they hated themselves and deprived 
themselves of salvation. Circumcision formerly had been an honourable 
ceremony, serving for a partition between Jew and Gentile, and for a seal 
of the covenant of grace. But the ceremony was to cease, it not having a 
continual promise. It was to last till Christ came, and when he died, it 
and all other died also, St Paul, and Christ, and Timothy, were circum- 
cised. But after the time came that Christ had broken down the partition 
wall by his suffering, they did not only die, but were also deadly to all such 
as would maintain the observancy of them. The use of them was prejudicial 
to Christ's honour, and therefore Paul bids us ' beware of them.' And 
now-a-days this instruction by proportion is of good use. For are there not 
those that teach concision, and that urge merits, as the papists do ? Take 
heed of them. They say we are the concision ; we have cut ourselves from 
the true mother church of Rome. 

I answer, We have suffered a concision ; we have made none. And 
again, we acknowledge we have separated from these Romans, not from 
those that were in Paul's time. It is they that have made a concision, and 
cut themselves from the mother church. But to pass from these : we have 
a concision among us, and that in a contrary extreme, that think every 
ceremony and thing that suits not with their opinion to be antichristian and 
concision ; not considering that there be many things urged as fitting for 
order, being no parts of God's worship. Yet even for these things they 
make a concision, cutting themselves off from our church, and unchurching 
us. It is dangerous for such ; for when the member is cut from the body, 
it must necessarily die ; and how can we receive grace from Christ as our 
head, but by union of ourselves to the body, whereof Christ is the head. 

It must be our duty to beware of all manner of seducers ; and to this 
end let us, 

Hemedy 1. First, Get fundamental truths into our heart ; affect and Im^e 
truth : for want hereof the eastern churches were given up to Mahomet ; 
and antichrist ruled over many in these western churches, because they 
* That is, ' spouse of tlie truth.' — G. 


loved not the truth, 2 Thes. ii. 10. For none are seduced that are not 
cold in love. 

Remedy 2. Secondly, Let us labour to practise that ive know, and God will 
give us a fuller measure of knowled(/e, whereby we shall learn to find and 
know seducers. John vii. 17, ' If any man will do his will, he shall know.' 

Remedy 3. Thirdly, Pray to God for wisdom to discern of schisms, and 
heresies, and ill-disposed jJersons. God hath promised us anything that is 
necessary for our strengthening, and bringing us to heaven. God'^will not 
deny us so necessary an aid as this is. 

Remedy 4. Fourthly, Let us look that we keep in us an holy fear and 
reverence of God : Ps. xxv. 12, ' What man is he that feareth the Lord ? 
him shall he teach in the way he shall choose.' And those things are we 
duly to observe, the rather because we shall ever find seducers. It will 
ever be a hard matter for men to find the way to heaven. And though the 
doctrine and profession of religion be not ever in all places opposed, yet 
shall we ever find the practisers thereof maligned ; as it is in these days, 
where none are accounted of to be protestants that are not loose libertines. 
And thus instead of concision from religion, they join that with it which is 
quite contrary to the power thereof. Beware also of such, for their courses 
of life are as pernicious as fundamental errors ; for none shall be saved for 
his knowledge. 


For we are the circumcision. 

In these words, and those that follow, our apostle describes who are 
truly circumcised. ' We are the true Israel, the circumcised sons of 
A.braham, who are members of Christ.' The Philippiaus they were not 
circumcised outwardly, yet v/ere they truly circumcised, they had the truth 
of it ; even as they that were under the cloud and in the sea were said ' to 
be truly baptized in the cloud and in the sea,' 1 Cor. x. 2. The sacraments 
therefore, before and after Christ, were in substance all one. As the church 
was one and the same, they may be said to be baptized as we, and we cir- 
cumcised as they. The difference was only in the outward ceremony and 
shovv, which the church being then young had need of. It is the same 
religion clothed diversely. Bellarmine saith that their government was 
carnal, and the promises to them were carnal, but it is carnally spoken of 
him (e), Heb. xi. 2. The fathers before Christ had respect to the recom- 
pence of reward ; and in ver. 35 they ' accepted not deliverance that they 
might obtain a better resurrection.' Are these carnal promises ? The 
anabaptists they press rebaptizing, not considering that the same covenant 
was _ before Christ and after, in substance ; so as every true Christian is 
spiritually^ circumcised, being once regenerate. Before, indeed, he is 
uncircumcised, and a spiritual leprosy overspreads all his frame of body 
and mind, which must be washed, pared, and cut off. We must part with 
uncircumcised hearts, ears, and lips ; that is, such ears as do dehght them- 
selves to hear corrupt lewd discourse ; such a tongue and lips as delight to 
utter and let out words savouring of a rotten and uncircumcised heart ; such 
eyes as do delight themselves in the beholding of lustful and sinful objects, 
whereby the heart is kindled into vain desires. I say, a Christian must 
circumcise himself, his heart, and those parts that are uncircumcised, before 
he can ever think to go to heaven, whither nothing that is corrupt or 
unclean entereth. Religion therefore is no easy thing, circumcision is 



painful and bloody. Mortification is very hard. Corruption it must be 
cut off though the blood follow, else it will kill thee at length. Wherefore 
we are also to labour for circumcised hearts to understand God's truth, his 
will, and commandments. Cut off all extravagant desires, which''-" by little 
and little take away comfort and communion with God. It is no mercy 
therefore to spare them. Circumcise thy eyes ; pray with David, ' Turn 
away mine eyes from regarding vanity,' Ps. cxix. 37. Stop thy ears at the 
charming of such objects as may infect thy soul. We can never enjoy that 
beatifical vision hereafter, if we wean not ourselves from the liking of these 
things. And though we cannot, while we are in this house of clay, come to 
that perfection we should, yet endeavour to it earnestly, and God will 
accept our very endeavours, and will further them ; yea, we shall get the 
victory at length. If sin begins to fall it shall surely fall ; the house of 
David in us shall grow stronger, and the house of Saul shall daily be 
weakened. The means to this duty are, 

1. First, Kiwiv tluj sin, and thy 'particular sin, by thy checks of conscience 
and by the checks we receive from our enemies, who shall spy what they 
can in us thereby to scandalise us. As also observe what thy thoughts 
work most upon, what is the main thing that generally takes up your 

2. When thou hast found out thy sin, make it as odious as thou canst. 
For circumcision imphes a thing that is odious and superfluous. Now all 
sins that be cherished in us may well be odious to us, for that it hinders 
us from all good and clothes us with all evil, and makes all outward things 
evil to us ; Avhich- otherwise are no further ill than as they strengthen our 
corruptions. It hinders us from all good duties. Pride of heart and cor- 
ruption do dog us. This made Paul cry, not of temporal bonds, but of the 
bonds of sin and of death. ' \Vho shall deliver me, wretched man that I 
am ?' saith he, Eom. vii. 23, 24. 

3. Thirdly, Having found out thy sins, and the abominableness of them, 
cowx>lain of them to God, as Hezekiah did of the blasphemous letter that 
Sennacherib wrote, and challenge the fruit of God's promise. For he that 
bids us circumcise, Deut. x. 16, promised that he himself will do it, Deut. 
xxx. 6. Faith in the promises is an effectual means to attain to them. 
Men come with doubtings. They see a great deal of corruption. They 
think their labour is vain. They cannot be relieved against them. They 
are deceived. Touch but thou the hem of Christ's garment. Fly to God 
in his name, and thou shalt find this ' issue' of sin, though not wholly dried 
up, yet much abated. And here is the excellency of faith that assures 
us of all the promises concerning sanctification here, as concerning glory 

Which U'orshij) God. 

The apostle places circumcision before worship ; for unless there be a 
cutting off, we cannot bring our corruption to perform duties of God's 
worship aright. 

The words contain a description of a Christian by his proper act, worship ; 
and by the proper object thereof, God ; and by his most proper part, in 
spirit. And the word ' worship ' is taken for the inward worship of God, 
commanded in the first commandment ; also comprehending our fear, love 
of God, and joy in him, issuing from the knowledge of the true God. All 
our obedience issuing herefrom is worship of God, including our duties to 
* Misprinted 'who.' — G. ® Here also mispriuted ' who.'— G. 


man, in obedience and relation to God's commandment. The ground of 
this obedience and worship is the relation between God and the reasonable 
creature, being the image of God. Now this image being lost in the fall 
01 our first parents, we must worship him not only as our creator and 
maker, but as ' reconciled to us in Christ,' as he hath made us anew. 

Secondly, We are to worship him as the ivell-sprinfj of all grace, goodness, 
excellency, and greatness. 

Thirdly, As he doth comrmmicate all unto us. He is ours. Christ is 
ours. All is ours. This should carry our souls to love him, be his as he 
is ours ; especially to be his in spirit, by which is meant the reasonable 
soul, understanding, will, and affections. And, secondly, with sanctified 
understanding, sanctified will, and sanctified afiections. Thirdly, With all 
our strength, spirit, life, and cheerful readiness. Wherefore God is the 
proper object of spiritual worship. Trust on him, love him, joy in him, 
invoke and pray to him and to him only ; not to the Virgin Mary, saints, 
or images, as the papists do : Mat. iv. 10, ' Him only shalt thou serve,' as 
Christ saith, because our commandment is only from him and extends only 
to him. The promises are only from him. He only is present in all 
places ; he only supplies our wants ; and he only knows what our wants 
are and how to help. Saints are not present in all places. They cannot 
hear many at once ; nay, they cannot hear our prayers unless they be 
present. They are finite creatures, they have no infinite properties. Christ 
he bids us, invites us, to come to him, he hath promised to hear us and to 
ease us. 

And further, God knows the secret wants, which the saints cannot know. 
We ourselves know them not. And therefore are we to go only to God in all 
our necessities, because it is most gainful for us to go to him that can help 
us ; nay, we owe him this honour by going to him, to acknowledge his 
omnipresence, his willingness and ability to do good. 

In spirit. 

The apostle in these words shews the manner of true worship, by the 
most proper and fit part of a Christian ; to wit, his spirit ; that is, a soul 
truly sanctified, lively, and cheerfully, with a willing and ready mind, fitly 
disposed, contrary to outward, false, and hypocritical worship. 

1. And the reason is, * Because God is a Spirit, and therefore must be 
worshipped in spirit,' John iv. 24. 

2. Secondly, It is the best part of a man ; and God who challenges all, 
and that justly, looks especially that he hath the best part. 

3. Thirdly, The spirit hath a being of itself, and praiseth, loveth and 
rejoiceth in God when it is out of the body ; and the body is stirred up to 
this duty only by the spirit, being of itself senseless as a block ; and outward 
worship without inward is but the carcase of worship. The prayer of a 
wicked man is abominable, because he regards inquity in his heart, Ps. 
Ixvi. 18. And this spirit of ours, without the Spirit of God, cannot worship 
him ; and therefore every one that is not changed makes God an idol. 

Use. This may deprive all such of comfort as care not for this spiritual 
worship, thinking they have done enough if they have mumbled a few idle 
words over. God accepts it no more than if they had sacrificed a dog's 
head, as he saith, Isa. Ixvi. 3. And verily, what other is popery, but a 
body without a soul, when they worship in blind sacrifices, in a strange 
language '? Is this a spiritual worship, when they neither know what they 
do nor say ? Let us shew that we are not of their number. Come we 



with love, and with the intension* of all our affections ; and this will sway 
the whole man, body and soul ; and so shall we worship him in truth, and 
not in hypocrisy, as many do, that bring their idols with them. Their 
minds are on their pleasures and riches, though their body be present 
before God. And it hath ever been an error in the world, this limiting 
and tying God's worship to outward worship of the body, with a kind of 
ceremonious gesture ; and it is very much liked for such like reasons as are. 

First, Tlie outnard gesture : as holding up hands, bending the knee, 
casting up the eyes, they are things that may easily be done. 

Secondly, Theij make a glorious show hi the eyes of the uorld. It is a 
commendable and good quality to be religious, especially if they be observed 
so to be. 

Thirdly, It is henejiclal to men, whenas hereby they are known to be no 
atheists, and therefore not that way incapable of preferment or the like. 

Fourthly, Outward uorship satisfies conscience a little. Men know they 
must worship God, and go to church, that these are means to save men, 
and they think that in doing so they stop the cries of their consciences. 
Alas ! alas ! these sleepy, blinded consciences of theirs will at length awake, 
and will accuse them, for the outward ceremonious hypocritical worship of 
him that requires the Spirit to worship him with. 

Ohj. But some men say. How shall we know whether we serve God in 
spirit or no ? 

Ans. I answer. Observe these properties. 

First, Whether thou lameidest thij defects in the best actions thou dost, and 
are not puffed up with conceit of the sufficiency of thy performances. 
Paul found this in him ; for although he lived, being a Pharisee, as con- 
cerning the law unrebukable, yet when he was converted he sav/ much 
corruption which before he knew not, and laments and bewails it, Eom. 
vii. 23, 2L 

Secondly, Examine thyself, whether thou vialcest conscience of private 
closet duties. Of prayer in thy study when none sees thee. Of thy 
very thoughts. Dost thou serve God with thy afiections and thy very 
soul ? Dost thou weep in secret for sins, yea, for thy secret sins ? Dost 
not thou do good duties to be seen of men, as the Pharisees did ? Con- 
trariwise, wilt thou omit no place nor time, but always and in all places 
thou wilt worship God ? This must be done ; for God is always and for 
ever God ; and he is in all places, in private as well as public ; and there- 
fore a Christian's heart must be the sanctum sanctorum,]- where God must 
remain present continually. And therefore he makes conscience of, and is 
humbled for, the least sins, yea, those that the world esteems not of, and 
counts them as niceties ; and that in as great a measure as ordinarily men 
are for the greatest sins they commit. 

Thirdl}^ Canst thou endure the search of thgself and thy infirmities by 
all means ? By thyself, by others, by the word, by private friends ? Nay, 
canst thou desire this search, that thou mayest know thy sin more and more, 
for this end, that thou mayest truly hate it with a more perfect hatred ? 
Canst thou truly appeal to God, as Peter did to Christ, ' Thou knowest that 
I love and prefer thee above all ' ? John xxi. 15. It is a sure sign of thy 
shicerity which the world cannot have ; and therefore when they see their 
sins laid open, they spurn, at the ordinances, and spite the minister and 
their true friends, that put them in mind of their faults, accounting them 
* That is, ' stretdi,' = earneitm:as.— G. t That is, ' holy of holies.'— G. 


as their only enemies. Surely they shall never be able to endure the 
search of God hereafter ; and the last day when he shall lay them open, 
they shall be overcome with shame. 

A fourth sign is, That at the hour of thy deatlt this spiritual uorshippimj 
of God will tjive thee content, when nothinf/ else can. Thou mayest say with 
comfort, as Hezekiah did, ' Lord, remember how I have walked before thee 
in sincerity,' Isa. xxxviii. 2, 3. When downright affliction comes, outward 
verbal profession vanisheth, with all the comforts thereof; then perisheth 
the hope of the hypocrite. Two things upheld Job in comfort, in his 
great extremity. He was first assured that his Redeemer lived ; and 
secondly, he knew his innocency in those things that his friends charged 
him with. And such times will fall on us all, either at the time of death 
or before, when nothing but innocency and sincerity shall be able to 
uphold us. 

Labour therefore for sincerity and spiritual worship. ' Worship God in 
spirit,' but let it be done outwardly also. But first, bring thy heart and 
intention to what thou dost, and that will stir up the outward man to its 
duty. And for the performance hereof follow these directions. 

First, Learn to know God aright. For worship is answerable to know- 
ledge ; for how can we reverence God aright, when we know neither his 
goodness nor his greatness ? How can we trust on God when we see not 
his truth in the performance of his promises, in the Scriptures, and in our 
own experience ? Those that do not these know not God. For as the 
heart affects according to knowledge, so also it is true in divinity ; as we 
know his justice we shall fear, as we know his mercy we shall love him, 
as we know his truth we shall trust on him. Ps. ix. 10, ' They that know 
thy name shall trust in thee ; ' and in other places of the said psalm, the 
Lord is known in the judgment he execute th, ver. 16. 

Secondly, Know God to he the first mover and cause of all. Men 
ordinarily fear the creature, attributing that to it which belongs to the 
Creator. But God he is the giver of all, and Christians look on the 
secondary means as to- the first author and ground of all' the rest. They 
behold the magistrate as in God, fear them no otherwise but in the Lord. 
Atheists they will not stick at any sin whatsoever, to get the love of those 
that may bring them any worldly commodity. A Christian, he pleases and 
seeks the love of him that can make enemies friends when he lists, and 
when it is for our good. He knows ' in him we live, move, and have our 

Thirdly, JSlake much of spiritual means. God he works by means, by his 
word ; attend to it. It works love, fear, joy, and reverence in us ; and 
therefore no marvel if those that neglect those means are not acquainted 
with these graces of God's Spirit. 

Fourthly, Lift up thy heart to Christ, the quickeniny Spirit, 1 Cor. xv. 86, 
seq. Our hearts naturaUy are dead ; Christ is our life. When thou art 
most especially called to love, to fear, to humility, pray to him to move 
thee, and yield thyself to him, and then shalt thou pray in spirit ; as it is 
said in Jude 20, 'Hear in spirit, do all in spirit ;( do outward works of thy 
calling in spirit ; for a true worshipper will out of spiritual grounds do all 
outward works of his particular calling, as well as the works of his general 
Christian vocation. Let us therefore do all things from our hearts to God 
and to our neighbour, else will not God accept of our works. It is the 
Jew inwardly who shall have praise of God. The want of this sincerity 
* Qu. 'from the secondary means to ' ? — G. 



bath extinguished the light of many a glorious professor, and thereby bath 
brought a great scandal upon the true worshippers of God in spirit. 

And rejoice in Christ. 

The word ' rejoice ' implies a boasting or glorying of the heart, manifesting 
itself in outward countenance and gesture, as also in speech. It also 
implies a resting on and contenting in the thing we glory in, proceeding 
from an assurance that we glory in a thing worthy of glory, for they are 
fools that delight in baubles. Observe hence, therefore, 

Doct. 1 That those that ivill ivorship Christ aright must glory in him. For 
the worship of Christ is a thing that requires encouragement, and nothing 
can work this encouragement like the glorying in Christ. And therefore 
Paul, in the first part of his epistle to the Romans, having shewed that 
God had elected them freely, and had begun the work of sanctification in 
their hearts, he comes in the 12th chapter, ver. 1, 'I beseech you,' saith 
he, ' present yourselves as a holy, Hving, and acceptable sacrifice to God.' 
And in Titus ii. 11, ' The grace of God teacheth,' by encouraging us 'to 
deny ungodliness, and to walk unblameably, soberly, righteously, and 
godly in this present world.' And therefore, whensoever we grow dull or 
dead, think of the great benefits that we have by Christ, and it will quicken 
us and all our performances. 

JJoct. 2. In the next place observe. That Christ is the matter and subject 
of trm glory and rejoicing, and only Christ, for they well go together, a 
full and large affection with a full and large object. Boasting is a full 
afiection, the object is every way as full. 

Reason 1. First, As he is God and man. He is God full of all things ; he 
is man full of all grace and void of all sin. He is Christ anointed to perform 
all his offices ; he is a prophet all-sufficient in all wisdom. In him are the 
treasures of wisdom. He teaches us not only how to do, but he teaches 
the very deed. He is our high priest. He is the sacrifice, the altar, and 
the priest, and he is our eternal priest in heaven and on earth : on earth 
as suftering for us, in heaven as mediating for our peace, ' Who shall 
condemn us ? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who 
is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us,' 
Rom, viii. 34, He is also our King, He is King of all. King of kings, 
and Lord of lords; a king for ever and at all times, subduing all re- 
bellions within us, and all enemies without us ; and he is all these so as 
none is like him, and thei'efore is worthy of our glory. 

Reason 2, Secondly, Christ is communicative in all these. He is prophet, 
priest, king, for us ; he is God-man ; he is Christ for us. He sought not 
his own. It was his communicative goodness that drew him from heaven to 
take our nature. 

Reason 3. Thirdly, He is present and ready to do all good for us ; he is 
present with us to the end of the world ; nay, 

Reason 4. Fourthly, We are his members. He is in us. We are his 
wife ; nay, we are him, ' Saul, why persecutest thou me ? ' Acts ix, 4. 
1 Cor, xii. 12, seq., ' We are all one body with Christ.' 

Reason 5. Fifthly, We are even ivhiles we are here glorified with Christ. 
He is our husband. If he be honoured, we his spouse also are advanced. 
If he be our king, we are his queen. If the head be crowned, the body is 
honoured ; and. 

Reason 6. Sixthly, All this is from God, and freely comes from him. 
Christ is anointed by the Spirit and sent from the Father. 1 Cor. i. oO, 


' He is made of God wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption 
to us.' And John vi. 44, ' No man can come to me, except the Father who 
hath sent me draw him ; ' and it is further said that God ' sealed him,' 
John vi. 27. So that we may rejoice in Christ, because that thereby we 
come to joy in God, for he reconciles us to God who called him to this 
office, which was witnessed at his baptism, whenas the whole Trinity bare 
witness thereof. 

QucsL But it may be questioned. What ! may we not joy in any other 
thing else but in Christ ? 

Ans. I answer, There maybe two causes of our joy. One principal, the 
other less principal. We must only rejoice in Christ as the main and 
principal cause of our happiness. But we may rejoice in creatures so far 
forth as they are testimonies of Christ's love, and in peace of conscience as 
coming from Christ, and in the word of God as it is the gospel of the 
revelation of Christ to us. 

Use 1. For use. We may observe this doctrine as a ground of the 
necessity of pari icular faith. For none can boast, but the boasting must 
arise from a particular faith, which only is the true ground of every man's 
particular assurance. 

Use 2. Secondly, Let it serve as a direction to every Christian that will 
rejoice ; let him go out of himself a7id rejoice in Christ, his king, his priest, 
and his prophet. Let him observe what he hath done for him, and what 
he will do for him, and thereby see himself perfectly happy ; and. 

Use 3. In the third place. Let us first boast that ive have Christ, and then 
in his benefits and blessings thatfolloiv him. First, rejoice that we have the 
field, then rejoice in the pearl. And therefore the apostle says not rejoice 
in faith or in obedience, but 'in Christ,' who being once mine, how shall I 
not have all things with him ? 

Use 4. Those that areburdencd ivith sorrow for their sin , let them consider. 
Why do they grieve ? Do their sins trouble them ? Christ he came to die 
for sin, he is their high priest, he came to save sinners. Doth the devil 
accuse them? Let them know Christ chose them, he pleads for them. 
"Who can lay anything to their charge ? Christ he is dead, risen ; nay, he 
is ascended into heaven. Are they troubled with crosses ? That is the 
best time to rejoice in Christ. * We joy in tribulation,' Rom. v. 3. When 
nothing comforts us, then hath Christ sweetest communion with our hearts. 
St Stephen, when the stones flew about him, and Paul in the dungeon, had 
the most sweet consolation and comfortable presence of God's Spirit that 
upheld them. Nay, in death we may glory most of all. It lets us into that 
state, into that sweet society with our Saviour and the saints, the very hope 
whereof doth now sustain us and cause us to glory here, as in Rom. v. 2. 
And death now is but a drone,* the stuig is gone, all enemies are conquered. 

Use 5. In the fifth place, See tvhereiii the glory of a man, of a nation, of 
a Ungdom consists. It is in Christ, and that which exhibits Christ. What 
made the Jews rejoice ? Mark the prerogatives they had, Rom. ix. 3, 4 : 
adoption, covenant, promises, and Christ. What made the house of Judah 
so famous ? and Mary so bless herself ? ' All generations shall call me 
blessed,' Luke i. 48 : Christ, that vouchsafed to proceed out of her loins 
and from that stock. ' Abraham rejoiced to see Christ's day,' John viii. 56, 
though he saw it afar off by the eye of faith. And what should we glory in 
above the Jews, above other nations, but in this ? The veil is taken away : 
Christ shines, and we have the gospel in its purity. This the apostle looks 
* That is, a ' drone,' or stingless bee.— G. 



for in the Corinthians, 2 Cor. ii. 3, ' HaviDg confidence that my joy is the 
joy of you all.' Now, what was Paul's joy ? ' God forbid,' saith he, ' that 
I should rejoice, but in the cross of Christ,' Gal. vi. 14. Let us not, 
therefore, rejoice in peace or plenty, fortified places, or the like. No. If 
we had not Christ to rejoice in, we were no better than Turks. ' Happy 
is the people whose God is the Lord,' Ps. cxlvi. 5 ; for in him shall we have 
fulness of joy and comfort. Make use of this in time of temptation. When 
the devil would rob us of our joy, fly to Christ : oppose him against all ; 
oppose the ' second Adam ' against the first : he came to do whatever the 
other did undo. Learn to see the subtlety of the devil and thine own heart ; 
and fill thy heart with the Scriptures and with meditations of the promises, 
and they will cause our love to be so fervent, as all our service of God will 
seem to be easy to us ; -ks the time that Jacob served seemed nothing, for 
the love he bare to Rachel, Gen. xxix. 20. 

But how shall we know whether we rejoice in Christ or not ? 

Ans. I answer. By these signs : 

1. First, When we glory, see the ground whence it arises, ivhether from God 
reconciled to us or not. If otherwise, remember that of Jer. ix. 23 : ' Let 
not the wise man glory in his wisdom, nor the strong man in his strength ;' 
all such rejoicing is evil ; ' but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he 
understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord.' 

2. Secondly, //' u-e ylorij in the Lord, it ivill stir us up to thanks. What 
we joy in we will praise. If we joy in Christ, we shall, like the spouse in 
Canticles, ever be setting forth tlie praises of our beloved. Thus did Paul, 
Eph. i. 3, and Peter, 1 Pet. i. 3 ; and therefore, where deadness and dul- 
ness is, it shews no true Christian joy. 

3. Thirdly, Our ghnjimi will he seen in dutj. Delight ever implies the 
intention to do any good work, and diligence. 

4. Fourthly, If 'we glory in Christ aright, we shall not endure any 
addition to Christ; and therefore, we shall abhor that popish tenent* 
which puts so many additions to Christ in the meritorious work of our sal- 
vation. A true rejoicer in Christ sees such all- sufficiency in Christ's merits 
and work, that he abhors purgatory and such trash ; and so much the more, 
by how much his glorying in Christ is the more fervent and sincere. Christ 
is our husband, we are his spouse ; if we cleave to any other than to Christ, 
we are adulterers. No ; let him kiss us with the kisses of his mouth, and 
none but he. Cant. i. 2. 

5. Fifthly, This joy, tvhere it is, it loill breed content in all estates. Paul 
could want and abound, and so can a true rejoicer : in Christ he hath all. 
He cares not for earthly wants, so he wants no heavenly comfort. If he be 
poor, he is rich in heaven ; nay, what he most complains of, are good for 
him : life or death, all is one with him. Christ is his, and in him all things. 

Quest. But it may be said. There are many Christians are not in this 
happy condition. 

Ans. I answer. It is their own fault, to yield to the devil's policy ; and 
their own weakness, that will not labour to break through these clouds, and 
challenge the promises. 

And have no confidence in the flesh. 

These words are in truth included in the former, for he that glories in 
Christ ' will have no confidence in the flesh.' But the apostle notes this 
as a plain demonstration and evidence of the glorying in Christ. For by 
* That is, ' tenet.'— G. 

rniLIPPIANS CHAP. Ill, VER. B. 77 

the copulative enjoining of them, it is all one as if he had said, What a 
man trusts to he glories in, and what he glories in he trusts to, and is con- 
fident of. If in wit his glorying be, he trusts to it, though it be to his ruin, 
as it fell out with Ahithophel, 2 Sam. xvii. 23. If in eloquence of speech, 
be trusts to it, and it brings shame, as it did to Herod, Acts xii. 23. If 
in honour, he trusts to it, and brings himself to dishonour, as Haman did, 
Esther vii. 10. 

By ' flesh' is meant outward things, as prerogatives, privileges, actions of 
a man's own doing, and particularly, he aims at circumcision, which he calls 
' outward, and that of the flesh,' Kom. ii. 28. So as the observation that 
we 'may gather is, that confidence in Christ takes aivay confidence in outivard 
things. The reason is, if Christ be fully all-sufficient, what need is there 
of any outward thing to put confidence in ? For these are two opposite 
things, and one overthrows the other. 

Doct. The second instruction is, that naturally men have confidence in 
ov.tward things ; for having not hearts, filled with grace, they relish not 
Christ, but fly to ceremonious outward actions as their refuge. Nay, in 
the church, till we be converted, we naturally fly to outward fleshly con- 
fidence. We have the word taught to us ; we come to hear it twice on the 
Lord's day. Alas ! what is this, if thou be not transformed, and inwardly 
and outwardly conformed in obedience ! Hast thou the sacraments ? dost 
thou uncover thy head, or bow the knee ? These are good, and they seem 
fair ; but where is the heart ? how is that prepared ? hast thou an earnest 
desire to leave ofi' thy course of sinning, and dost thou resolve hereafter to 
amend thy life ? Oh, here is the hard spiritual work ! So, in outward 
fasting and abstinence, it is an easy matter. The Pharisees did it often. 
But this is the fast that God hath commanded, to loose the bands of 
wickedness, to fast from sin, Isa. Iviii. 6. The suffering of the flesh, if it 
be separated from spiritual use, and alms, they profit nothing, 1 Cor. xiii. 3. 
All Paul's prerogatives, which were many, 2 Cor. 11th and 12th chapters, 
yet they were in his account but 'dross and dung,' in comparison of Chiist. 
Most men are like Ephraim, Hosea s. 11, as heifers, who serve to tread 
out corn and to plough. Ephraim loved to tread corn, where he might eat 
his bellyful ; for by the law of Moses, the mouth of the ox that treadeth 
out the corn was not to be muzzled. Men they are dehghted in the per- 
iormance of shght duties ; but to put their neck under the yoke, to plouah, 
it is a hard work ; who can bear it ? 

Ohj. But some will say, Oh, what ! do you condemn outward duties and 
use of them ? 

Ans. I answer. We may consider religious duties two ways. First, as 
they are outward means to salvation, for so they are. Secondly, as they 
ai-e expressions of inward truth ; and so out of a sincere, entire afiection 
we bear to them, and out of a desire to be wrought upon by them, we do 
them. Thus they are commended that use them. But let them want but 
an inch of this, all is abominable, all is ' flesh.' The Jews they boasted in 
the name of ' holy people,' in their law, « in the temjDle,' in the ' Holy 
Land ;' yet for all these, saith God, you shall go into captivity. Against 
such Christ preached : ' Woe to you. Scribes and Pharisees ! you tithe 
mint, but let pass justice and judgment,' Mat. xxiii. 23. And Paul, 'Be 
not high-minded, but fear,' Rom. xi. 20. And the reasons why men are 
taken up with this fleshly confidence are, 

Eeaxon 1. First, Outvard things are easy, and men cannot bend themsGlves 
to perform the hard matters of the law. 


Reason 2. Secondly, They are glorious, and men desire to be observed. 

Reason 3. Thirdly, Men have a foolish conceit that God is delighted with 
the outward act, when the inward sincerity is wanting. 

Reason 4. Fourthly, Men want knowledge of themselves, want the inward 
change, want sense of their own unworthiness and Christ's worthiness. 

Reason 5. Fifthly, (701^ followelh such with j^rosperitg in this world. 
Thereby they think God is well pleased with them, till the hour of death 
come, and then they find all but froth. 

Quest. How shall we know whether our confidence is fleshly or not ? 

Ans. I answer. Where this fleshly confidence is, there is bitterness of 
spirit against sincerity. The Pharisees, the doctors of the law, sat in 
Moses' chair, yet who more opposed Christ than they? Mat. xxiii. 2. 
Nay, they wholly and only in their whole course sought to persecute him, 
and made it their trade. 

2. Secondly, Where this fleshly confidence is, there is also a secret bless- 
ing of ourselves in our performance of good duties, without humiliation for 
our defects. Hypocrites think that God is beholden to them, and therefore 
do bless themselves in the deed done. 

In the fourth verse he comes to an argument, taken from himself, against 
those of the concision. 

^"EESE 4. 

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh 
that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more. 

As if he had said. If any other man may glory in the flesh, then may I 
much more. But I do not think that I have cause sufiicient to glory in 
the flesh ; therefore have not they, or may not they, glory in the flesh. 
And the reason or ground of this proposition is taken from his many pre- 
rogatives he had, which he comes to in the 5th and 6th verses following. 

First. Circumcision was the first prerogative before conversion ; and it was 
not before the eighth day, to the end that the child might gather some 
strength to bear and endure the ceremony, for it was of itself grievous, 
and a bloody ceremony ; wherefore it was that Moses his wife called him a 
bloody husband, Exod. iv. 25. And this ceremony was not to be respited 
above eight days, that the parents might not be delayed in their comfort. 
Whence we may gather, that dying before baptism is no necessary impedi- 
ment to the salvation of the child, for the same covenant is annexed to 
circumcision that is to baptism ; and the papists, that hold that the death 
of children before baptism hindereth the salvation of the infant, may as well 
hold that all the children that died before the eighth day, being the day of 
circumcision, were damned. Secondly, Observe this, that children, though 
infants, may, nay, must, be baptized, if it may be with conveniency ; for 
children were circumcised, nay, they were enjoined circumcision, on the 
eighth day. Now, seeing the covenant is the same, and given to children, 
now as then, why may not the seal thereof be now given in their infancy 
as then ? 


Of the stock of Israel. 

Jacob had his name changed of his wrestling with the angel, and pre- 
vailed. St Paul says he was of that stock of Israel that prevailed with God. 


Of the tribe of Benjamin. 

There were two tribes of especial credit, Judah and Benjamin Tliev 
were kingly tribes. Benjamin was honoured with the first kin^ Saul the 
son of Kish, who though he were a castaway, yet it is a matter of great 
joy in the flesh to have great men, personages and learned men, of their 

An Hebrew of the Hebretos. 

More ancient than an Israelite, for Abraham was an Hebrew before Jacob 
was an Israelite. And he was an Hebrew born, no proselyte or converted 

As touching the law, a Pharisee. 

Before Christ's time there were divers sects among the Jews, as Pharisees 
Scribes, Herodians, and Essa^i.* But the Pharisees were the greatest sect 
ot all; and as the word signifies, so they did separate themselves as better 
than other Jews whatsoever. And St Paul lays down this as one especial 
carnal thing, wherein he might glory. He was no common Jew but a 
zea ous Jew _ So as thence we may observe, that there is a fire and zeal 
that IS not kindled by heaven ; but, as St James saith of the tongue ' is 
set on fire of hell,' iii. 6, out of ignorance. Blind zeal therefore is a 
ground of destruction. We are therefore to take heed ; for unless our zeal 
have an eye, nothing is more tempestuous and troublesome than that man 
IS whom it possesses. 


Concerning zeal, persecuting the church. 

Where zeal is, if it be meant in the largest sense, it is very hot against 
all opposites. It hath the name from fire, separating heterogenies, and 
gathering things homogeneal. Our apostle was none of those drowsv pro 
fessors that would be content to mingle religions, so as where there is no 
opposition there is no zeal. And therefore those that would reconcile 
religions, false and true, they have not a spark of zeal, but are key-cold 
Again, Paul well joins persecution and a Pharisee together, for there was 
never hypocrite but he was a persecutor. For he, making and groundin^r 
his profession on pride and a desire to be counted holy, when a downriaht 
person esteems him not, but by his integrity, puts the other's outward pro 
lession out of countenance, presently he falleth a persecuting, especiallV if 
his hypocrisy brings any profit or gain, as it was with Demetrius in the 
Acts, XIX. 24, 38 ; and as it is now with the Romish Church, whose chief 
end is profit, as appears by their purgatory, indulgences, pardons, dispen- 
sations, and the like. You shall have as much mass as you will and as 
little preaching. We may observe further, that carnal zeal is persecutina 
zeal, and the persecuting church is the false church. Christ's flock neve? 
persecutes wolves. It will not indeed endure to be near them but it is 
not cruel agamst them. The papists indeed they speak much of their 
mildness and meekness, but what is the reason ? Their hands are bound 
Solve leonem et senties leonem, loose the lion and then you shall find he is a 

Ihc* B^fe, 2^::::^. "'■ '^"*"'" =^='"^"' ^^ ■" ^' ^■"'■"'■=' Dictionary of 


Toiichiiir/ the rhjhtcomness v:Jdch is in ihc law, blameless. 

This was a great prerogative. 

Ohj. But how can he be said to be blameless as concerning the law, 
when he was without the law ? Kom. vii. 9. 

I answer, It is true he was without the law in respect of the inward man, 
in respect of sanctified knowledge, love, and fear ; but in regard of his out- 
ward course of life, no man could blame him. Let this be observed by 
carnal civil men ; they may be blameless as concerning outward conversa- 
tion, and yet without the law. 

Quest. But if he was blameless as concerning the law, how could he 
blame himself so as he did ? Eom. vii. 15. 

Ans. I answer, St Paul then had a new esteem and judgment ; he had 
a new light which shewed him much corruption, where before he saw none. 
This meets with weak Christians, that think themselves unconverted and 
castaways, becanse they see a great deal of sin in them. Paul was without 
blame ; now ' miserable man, who shall deliver me ? ' Rom. vii. 24. Chris- 
tians therefore are to be comforted ; and to know that they are not the 
worse because they see themselves sinful daily more and more, but that 
they are better, as" to whom God does daily bestow the light of his Holy 
Spirit, to make them see more clearly into their estates. We know that we 
see only the motes where the sun shineth ; yet cannot we deny but all the 
air is as full as that part which the sun enlighteneth. 
; Let not such therefore be discouraged, but let them know where there is 
any opposition, there is spirit as well as flesh ; and that at length the 
spirit will have the victory. 

But what things were gain to me, those I count loss for Christ. 

1. TJiose things and privileges that formerly he counted gain, noio he counts 
them loss. 

2. It is good therefore to teach hy example; as St Paul does here enforce 
rules by his own experience and example. 

It is also expedient sometimes to speah of -prerogatives and privileges that 
a man hath in himself ; and it is not universal that we must not speak of 
anything that might concern our own praise. For we may do it as St Paul 
does here, to beat down the pride of others that are vain-glorious ; or we 
may, as Paul does, lift up ourselves to abase and beat down ourselves the 

3. In the third place, when God vouchsafes his children any outivard pri- 
vileges, he doth it for the good and help of others, though we see it not at 
the first. Paul had these privileges, that he might beat down the pride of 
the Jews more powerfully. And Solomon had all abundance of wisdom, 
riches, and the like. Wliy ? But only that he might without control 
judge of all, as of ' vanity and vexation of spirit ; ' and make it to be be- 
lieved more firmly. For had an ordinary man said it, men would have 
thought it easy for him to say so ; but if lie had tried them, he would have 
been otherwise minded. In these later times, our best teachers were at 
the first papists, and of the more zealous sort ; as Bucer (/) and Luther (//), 
being also learned men ; as also Peter Martyr (/;) and Zanchius (/), was 
brought up in Italy, and all this, that they seeing once their blindness, 
might be the more able to confound them, as being not a whit inferior to 
them in any outward respect whatsoever, when they were of their belief. 


4. In the fourth place, God (having to deal with men of a desperate con- 
dition) suffers great and famous men to be in ignorance, nay, to he persecu- 
tors, tliat after their conversion they might comfort xoeak Christians ; and 
therefore let them comfort themselves. Do they find that their sins are 
many and great ? Paul was a Pharisee, a persecuting Pharisee, and con- 
tinued so a long while. Nay, after his conversion, he complains of a hody 
of sin, and yet found mercy ; and therefore do not despair. 

But to proceed. We see what St Paul was, and what now he is, how 
his judgment is quite contrary to that it was ; for where grace is, it makes 
men opposite to themselves ; and therefore this re-creation is called a new 
creature : Paul quite contrary to Saul, and yet both one person. Out of 
which we may gather, 

First, That a man before conversion hath ever that lohich is hij gain ; for 
we are prone to think too highly of natural things, and our esteem shall be 
grounded upon probabilities, rather than we will lose our esteem of them. 
For we know this outward gain is easily gotten, the duties are easily per- 
formed, fair outwardly ; and will procure praise from men, which is all we 
naturally look for. 

Secondly, Observe hence that that which we before conversion thought gain, 
is indeed loss and improf table, nay, it is dangerous ; for things may in use be 
good, but in abuse dangerous. Riches are good in use, but in abuse 
' mammon ' and ' thorns,' as Christ terms them. Circumcision and 
sacrifices and baptism in themselves were good, and man}' things are still 
good ; yet when we trust in them, and neglect inward graces, sacrifice is 
no more acceptable than a dog's head, Isa. Ixvi. 3. Good works are in 
their proper nature good ; yet if we rely on them, they stop the way to 
Christ. So as it is our wicked and abusing afiections that hath brought an 
ill report on the good creatures of God, so as to us they are dross and 
dung, nay, loss. These terms doth the Holy Spirit give to alienate our 
afifections from these earthly things ; an outward, civil, and conformable life 
[those things which] are, by our high esteem of them, stops,* staying 
many from heaven ; for while they tell themselves they live honestly and 
justly, doing no wrong, they suppose themselves to be very saints, and 
look no further. But every true Christian knows his infirmity, and the 
more he is enlightened, the more he sees his darkness ; he knows these 
things cannot be gain to him. 

For, first, he knows they are meaner than the soid. These are earthly, the 
soul is from heaven ; these are outward, the soul is spiritual, and therefore 
is only satisfied with spiritual and heavenly comforts. 

Secondly, A Christian sees these things are fading, arising of nothing, and 
tending to nothing ; contrarily, he knows his soid is eternal, and requires com- 
forts that may last v/ith it for ever. For those that joy in these outward 
things, when they leave him or he leave them, as of necessity he must, it 
is true they vanish to nothing ; but he cannot, but must continue comfort- 
less for ever, and undergo the just wrath of God. Furthermore, a Christian 
doth not only know these things to be no gain, but he also knows them to 
be loss. For that is loss which a man finds by experience to be loss, when 
bis understanding is awakened. But all things outward, whatever they be, 
whether that a man is a Christian by profession, or that he is a preacher, 
who hath good utterance and is embraced of the people and approved of, 
or what privilege else soever, when the conscience is awakened they 
breed more horror, at the hour of death, when we are to give an account of 
* That is, ' hindrances.' — G. 

VOL. V. F 


them, and they set us further off from Christ. A profane person is nearer 
conversion than a proud Pharisee ; as Christ saith, ' The publican and 
harlots go before you into the kingdom of God,' Mat xxi. 31. The reason 
is, because they that are thus outwardly affected sing peace to their souls ; 
whenas the profane man hath no starting-holes of excuse, his vileness being 
more manifest. 

Secondly, God detests such boasters more than those that are outwardly pro- 
fane, and therefore Christ inveighs against such ever, ' Woe to you pharisees, 
hypocrites,' Mat. xxiii. 13, and often threatens such with the punishment 
that is provided for hypocrites, as if those were the men which his soul 
abhorred, and for which only hell was prepared. 

But how shall we be qualified, that outward things may not be hinderers 
of us? 

First, Look to the foundation of all conversion ; consider the nature of God 
and his laxo. By them we shall see a further degree of holiness than the 
best of us can attain to. The excellency of God's nature is such as God's 
children have been ashamed to be in his presence. As Job when God 
spake ' abhorred himself,' Job xlii. 6. Peter when he saw the power of 
Christ said, ' Depart from me. Lord, for I am a sinful man,' Luke v. 8. We 
are, therefore, to think often of the presence of God, before whom ere long 
we must all appear. 

Secondly, Bring thyself to the spiritual meaning of the laiv, as Paul did, 
Kom. vii. See into thy thoughts, and behold the uncleanness of thy heart. 
Thirdly, Converse with those that are better than thyself, and compare thyself 
with them. Not as the Pharisees, who compared themselves with the publi- 
cans ; and herein are many deceived, and by undervaluing others they 
overvalue themselves. For things compared with less they seem some- 
what, but with bigger seem nothing. It ought not to be so with us. Let 
us compare ourselves to that rule that we live by, and to such examples as 
we are to follow. Compare we ourselves with Christ, our righteousness 
with his, and then shall we see our wants. 

Fourthly, Practise that lohich Christ so much beats on ; that is, self-denial. 
Hate father, mother, world, nay, thyself, or never think to come to Christ. 
They will be loss to thee unless thou account them loss. The young rich 
man's wealth made him a loser. The love of the praise of men kept the 
Pharisees that they could not believe. Whosoever nourisheth any lust, it 
■will rule him and his affections, that he shall make it his gain, be it never 
so vile in itself. But St Paul, being guided by another spirit, casts away 
all ; and so must we. If we will not lose Christ and suffer shipwreck, cast 
away these commodities that load us and hinder us in our course. Neither 
is it meant here of an actual casting away of our goods, thereby to establish 
the foolish vow of poverty. But herein is meant a judicious discerning 
of the true worth of these things in comparison of Christ, and from thence 
a preparation, and a resolved mind to part with all that may hinder us from 
the enjoyment of peace of conscience and the love of Christ. For a man 
may have a weaned soul in the midst of abundance ; and he may live in the 
world, though not to the world, which is a duty easily spoken of, yet not 
easily performed ; neither was it easily wrought in our apostle, who, being 
a persecutor of the church, was powerfully altered and changed from 
heaven. And thus doth God deal with his children, whom he doth first 
cast down and afflict, that they may find by experience that these outward 
things can stand us in no stead. It may be he suffers them to fall into 
some grievous scandalous sin, that they might see the ' body of sin ' that 


lies in them, and seeing no good nor help in themselves, their desires are 
stirred up to the embracing of some better thing wherein they may find 
comfort. Then doth God reveal Christ to us, to whom he will have us to 
fly, and say, * Lord, vrhat wilt thou have me to do ?' So as this power of 
changing ourselves is not in ourselves, but it is an almighty power. 

If we think, therefore, that we are self-lovers, go to God, present thyself 
in the means, and then our eyes shall be opened to see and discern good 
and evil. For God hath promised to annex his Spirit to the use of the 
means, if that we in obedience submit ourselves to them. 

Yea doubtless, and I count all things hut loss. 

The words contain a kind of correction, as if in few words he had said, 
All things whatsoever I formerly boasted in, nay, my very privileges, I 
count them not only ' dung,' but I do count them to be ' loss ' to me ; nay, 
I have suffered the loss of them all in comparison and for Christ my Lord. 
Yea, I desire to express the earnest intension * of my affections by my 
desire to win him, to know him, to be found in him, and to be conformable 
to his death. 

In general observe, 

1. The apostles resolution and zeal, his assured certainty, his large heart 
being not able to express his affection, but by many words, viz., his love of 
Christ and hate of all outward things whatsoever. Therefore ive also in, 
main fundamental points must be resolute, carrying a full sail. As in the 
truth of the thing there is a certainty, so in us there must be an assured 
persuasion thereof. For even from these uncertain irresolute hearts comes 
apostasy. Men being not grounded are carried about with every * wind of 
doctrine,' and hence also comes different measures of grace in Christians. 
Some say with Paul, ' doubtless ;' others are of doubting, hearts. But the 
end of the word is ' to settle us,' Eph. iv. 13. And though it be never so 
true, yet if we [do] not believe it : though the foundation be sure, yet if we 
[doj not build on it, the truth and force of it is not good unto us. 

2. In the second place, from the apostle's example, we are to learn in 
fundamental truths to be zealous. The apostle speaking of anything that 
seeks competition with Christ for value, how doth he vilify it, that he hath 
not words sufficient to press his fervent hatred thereof ? For zeal is such 
an affection as causes a constant hatred against anything that opposes that 
which we entirely love, even such a hatred as will cause us not to endure 
to hear of it. And God therefore promiseth Ephraim he shall so abhor 
idols, as he shall not have to do with them, Hosea xiv. 8.f And indeed a 
jealous God and a zealous heart do well agree. When we have to do with 
any one that opposes God in his truth, we are not to be cold, but to be 
zealously affected. 

3. In the third place, we are to learn to be large hearted in expressing our 
affection we bear to the truth ; and therefore we are to be ashamed of our 
shortness of breath in speaking or meditating of God's honour and glory 
and his truth. But particularly from our apostle's esteem we may learn 
that God's children have sanctified and regenerate thoughts and esteems. For 
with new souls, they have new eyes, new senses, new affections and judg- 
ments ; what they saw before to be gain, they see now to be loss. Beasts 

* That is, intentness, warmth. — G. 

t Cf. ' The Keturning Backslider ' on the passage in Vol. II. — G. 


we know conceive not of men's matters, neither do weak simple men of State 
matters. That which weak silly men admire, the apostle scorns and con- 
demns. Moses accounted of the afflictions with the children of God more 
than of the pleasure of Egypt. We may observe this as a mark to know 
our estates by, What is high in thy esteem ? Is honour, riches, pleasure, 
or the like ? Thou are not yet thoroughly sanctified ; for if thou wert, thou 
wouldst have a sanctified judgment. 

But some may say, did Paul esteem all things to be loss, yea, his good 
works ? 

1. I answer. Good works in their own nature are good: hut iveighivg them 
with Christ, as Paul did, they are also dross and dung. 

2. Secondly, It teaches us, that ive are not righteous, or justified, hy any works 
ceremonial or moral, either before or after our conversion. The papists allege 
works as meritorious ; we contrarily do disclaim them. As to that purpose : 
ay, say they, you mean ceremonial works ; we say no, we mean also moral. 
For Paul was unblameable as concerning the works of the law, and yet 
counts them dung. Oh, say they, St Paul meaned those works before his 
conversion, and not those after his conversion. I answer. Yes ; all things 
in respect of Christ. I do now account them dross and loss. To prove 
them the fuller : If nothing after conversion he perfect, then cannot they entitle 
us to heaven, but all our best works in state of regeneration are imperfect. 
To prove this, see the examples of David, a man after God's own heart, 
Ps. cxliii. 2 : ' None righteous in thy sight, and who can say his heart is 
clean ?' and Isa. Ixiv. 6 : ' We are all as an unclean thing, and all our 
righteousness as filthy rags.' 

Oh, but Bellarmine says (j), the prophet speaks this in the person of the 
wicked. I hope he will not put the prophet into that number ; for he saith, 
* we,' and ' our ; ' and ' our righteousness,' not our ill deeds; and ' all our 
righteousness.' Nay, of himself in particular, Isaiah saith as much in Isa. 
vi. 5. And besides, the wicked do not use to pray, as the whole chapter 
is to that end. And Daniel also includes himself in his confession, Dan. 
ix. 20. And to prove this by reason : we know that weak and corrupt 
principles must needs produce imperfect effects. Now the principles of all 
our motions are evilly aflected ; our understandings, memories, affections, 
all are corrupt and weak. Corruptions make combats in all parts of the 
Boul and body : in whatsoever therefore we do, there is flesh and spirit ; 
and their own authors agree hereunto : as Ferus [k), and Catharen, a car- 
dinal of their own, says there is donata justitia, and inharens {I). When 
the question is what we must lean to, it must be only on Christ and his 
righteousness, wherewith from him we are endowed. And a pope of theirs, 
Adrian the Fourth (m), saith that all our righteousness is as the reed of 
Eg}^pt, which will not only fail us if we rest on it, but will pierce our sides. 
St Cyprian saith also, that he is either superlms or stzdtus, that says or thinks 
he is perfect (w). And good reason, for that which shines in the eyes of 
man, in God's esteem is base. ' In thy sight shall no flesh be justified,' 
Rom. iii. 20. Now there are divers degrees of judgments. In God's judg- 
ment none shall be justified ; nor in judgment of law, for in many things 
we offend all : and for the judgment of the world, what is it if it clear us ? 
Can that acquit us, if God and the law condemns us ? and for the judgment 
of our own consciences, if they be cleared they will condemn us. Yea, the 
papists are not satisfied in their own consciences for this point. For if 
there may be a perfect fulfilling of the law in this life, by a man's own inhe- 
rent righteousness, why do they teach the doctrine of doubting as necessary 


to salvation ? But however they may brabble* m schools to maintain this 
their assertion, yet when death comes, they must fly those shifts, and lay 
hold only on God's love (o). 

Some will say, What are the graces of God's Spirit ? Are the sacrifices, 
the sweet odours, and ornaments of the spouse, are these dung ? 

I answer, Things admit of one esteem simphj considered, arid of another 
comparatively. Stars in the day are not seen, yet in the night are great 
lights. So works in regard of Christ's works are not visible, are nothing, 
but in themselves are good. 

Secondly, I say there are tivo courts : one of justification, another ofsanctifi- 
cation. In the court of justification merits ai'e nothing worth, insufficient ; 
but in the court of sanctification, as they are ensigns of a sanctified course, 
BO they are jewels and ornaments. 

Obj. But the ignorant papist objects against us, saying that we dis- 
courage men fi'om good works, because we do so basely esteem of them. 

Ans. I answer, A sick man cannot eat meat, but it breeds humours that 
etrengthens the disease. Shall he therefore forbear all manner of meats ? 
No. For meat strengthens nature, and makes it able to overcome the 
power of the disease. So by reason of our corruption we have within us, 
we halt in every good work we put our hand to. Shall we not therefore 
work at all? Yes. For notwithstanding our weakness, though we merit 
not any good, yet God, he overlooks the illness of our works, and accepts 
and rewards the good that is in them, giving us comfort and assurance of 
our justification, by the sanctified fruits, which, though imperfect, yet are 
true. To conclude : seeing we cannot have Christ, putting any confidence 
in outward things, let us labour to get an esteem of the weakness and imper- 
fections that are in them, as also in our persons and actions, that we may 
hunger after Christ. To this end, daily renew we our repentance and exa- 
mination of our hearts ; and when we do any good, examine what weak- 
ness, want of zeal, want of afiection or attention hath possessed us in our 
performances (of praying, hearing, reading the word, and the like), and 
want of watchfulness in our courses ; and then shall we be of St Paul's 
mind, all will be naught. And take heed of spiritual pride and conceit of 
any good in us ; for it hinders spiritual comfort from us. Let us meditate 
of the greatness of God's love to us, and the infinite reward ; and it will 
make us ashamed of our weak requittance of God's love to us. Consider 
the multitude of our sins before the time we were called ; and consider of 
our proneness to spiritual pride ; let us by all means abase ourselves. For 
those that God loves, he will have them vile in their own esteem : for it is 
his method, first, to beat down, then to raise up. And therefore John, he 
comes thundering, ' Hypocrites, generation of vipers !' Mat. iii. 7. Then 
comes Christ, ' Blessed are the poor, those that hunger and thirst after 
righteousness,' Mat. v. 6 ; as if only they were blessed that feel their wants. 
We must disdain any other titles to any good, but only in God's mercy, 
and accordingly give the glory of all to him. Thus did the church mili- 
tant, ' Not unto us, not unto us. Lord, but to thy name,' Ps. cxv. 1 ; and 
thus do the church triumphant, Piev. vii. 12, ' Honour, glory, and power 
be to the Lamb.' Those that do not thus are no members of the church. 

Last of all. Let us take heed of extenuating sin. The papists tell us of 
divers sins that are venial. Such are surreptitious thoughts, taking of pins, 
stealing of points, f and the like ; these they call venial. But we must 

* That is, = argue, quarrel. — G. 

t That is, = laces or latchets, small things. — G. 



know (to admit that sin, as a sin, to be venial, is a contradiction, though 
God do pardon it ; for that is out of his free mercy), these surreptitious 
eteahng motions, that unawares do creep into us, though the Papists do 
make them of small account, God may punish with his fierce indignation. 
Moses his anger kept him out of Canaan. Adam his apple cast him out of 
paradise. Every sin is a breach of the law. The least sin soils us. We 
must give account of idle words. And the wages of any sin, though never 
so small, is death, Rom. vi. 23. 

For the excellency of the knoxcledge of Christ Jesus. 

That is, either all things are loss to me, that hinder me from the know- 
ledge of Christ Jesus ; or, all things are loss in comparison of Christ Jesus. 
Wherefore, before ice can know Christ as we ouf/ht, ice must know all other 
things to he loss ; for when we learn to know Christ aright, we then cast 
those things out of our affections, which would else keep Christ out of our 
heart. Wherefore it is no wonder that gi-eat scholars should be erroneous 
in many points of religion ; for look to their lives, and we shall see them 
envious and ambitious ; they maintain idols in their hearts, they account 
not those things loss which must be loss, or else they must account Christ 
loss. Secondly, This knowledge of Christ is an excellent knowledge, better 
than the Jews', who had all their knowledge shadowed out in ceremonies; but 
this is unvailed, and therefore Christ said, ' Blessed are the eyes that see 
those things that you see,' Luke x. 23. And as the estate of the church 
grows more excellent now than before Christ's coming, and shall be most 
excellent hereafter in heaven, even so our knowledge doth, and shall grow 
in its excellent perfection. It is better also than human arts and sciences ; 
not in regard of the author, for all knowledge is from God ; but, 

First, In regard of the manner of revealing thereof ; for whereas we come 
to the other by the light of nature and reason, this is inspired into us by 
the Spirit. 

Secondly, In regard of the matter of this knowledge, which is far beyond 
the other, for this teaches the natures and pei'son of Christ, God and man 
in one person, which may swallow up the thoughts of man. ' Great is 
the mystery of godliness,' 1 Tim. iii. 16. In the next place, it teaches us 
his offices, that he is a king to rule over us and deliver us ; a priest to 
make us acceptable to God ; a prophet to teach and instruct us. And 
thirdly, it teaches us the benefit of his offices ; exercising them in his state 
of humiliation and exaltation. Fourthly, it teaches us to know our duties, 
to entertain him, rest on him, glory in him only, and that all other things 
are loss in comparison of him. 

Thirdly, This knowledge is better than other knowledge, in the effects it 
hath, it being a transforming knowledge, 2 Cor iii. 18. It makes glorious, 
happy, full of comfort, carrying the Spirit with it, which changes us into 
his similitude, and therefore it is called the ' word of the Spirit.' 

Fourthly, In the fourth place, it is better than other knowledge, in regard 
of the depth of the knowledge ; and therefore called ' The manifold wisdom of 
God,' Eph. iii. 10. That a virgin is a mother ; God is become man : this is 
far above natural reach ; and therefore Christ may well be called ' Wonderful,' 
Isa. ix. 6, who being God should be also man, die, rise, and ascend far 
above all power. 

Fifthly, This knowledge is a sioeet knoivledge, and therefore excellent. It 
tells us who were miserable and lost ; it tells us also of redemption, of a 
kingdom, of a Saviour. ' How sweet are thy testimonies to my mouth, 

PHILirPIANS CHAP. Ill, VER. 8. 87 

Ps. cxix. 103. And if the promises here be so sweet to us, what shall then 
the accomplishment of them be to us hereafter ! 

Sixthly, This knowledge, furthermore, is excellent in regard of the con- 
tinuance thereof. The knowledge of other things dies with the things ; the 
world must perish, and what use is there then of our skill in the nature 
thereof? Only this knowledge abideth for ever, working grace, love, heavenly- 
mindedness, and brings us to glory. 

In the seventh place, This knowledge of Christ teachcth ws to know God 
aright ; his justice in punishing sin, his wisdom and mercy in reconciling 
us to him, and in willing that Christ should become man and die for us. 
Neither could we know these things, but by knowing Christ, who is the 
engraved image of his father. 

Eighth, Furthermore, it teaches us to know ourselves^ our filthiness, our 
ignorance, in esteeming triflingly of sins, counting them venial. But great 
surely must the sore be, that necessarily requires such a salve and such 
a physician as Christ, and his blood to be shed for the curing thereof. 

Ninth, In the next place, this knoivledge is altogether sufficient in itself, 
without all other knowledge ; and none without this to make a man wise 
to salvation, both of soul and body ; and all men without this are but fools. 

Use 1. For use hereof. This improves the shallotv conceit men have of 
divinity ; that the knowledge is but shallow ; that every man may know it, 
and that any man may soon have enough thereof. But, alas ! St Paul had 
a large heart, and had more insight into the deep mysteries of this know- 
ledge than such, however they boast ; and yet he desires more, and could 
not pierce the depth thereof ; for none ever could do it but Christ Jesus only. 
Nay, the very angels they desire to pry and look into, and to know more of 
these deep mysteries, 1 Peter i. 12. It is therefore no shallow knowledge. 

Use 2. In the second place. This ought to jjut us in mind to put apart 
times, to meditate of the excellency of this knoivledge ; and to this end we are 
to empty ourselves of whatsoever fills us. Especiall}^ we are to empty us 
of sin, and of care for the world and the vanities thereof, and the knowledge 
of them ; because both it and they shall all perish ; make no excuses of ven- 
turing displeasure, or suffering discommodity; true love pretends no delays, 
nor will endure them. ' Behold, Lord, half of my goods I do give to the 
poor, and I do restore to every man his own,' said Zaccheus, Luke xix. 8. 

Use 3. In the next place, We must call upon God to open our eyes, that 
we may see and know his nature, his offices, his benefits, and our duties ; 
to know more distinctly, effectually, and settledly ; to see the wonders of 
his law ; that we may be even ravished, when we behold his fulness. 

Use 4. We, in the fourth place, are to freqxient places where we shall have a 
fuller knoivledge of Christ ; such places where the commerce is between 
Christ and the church. In Cant. v. 1, Christ had more love to his church, ■ 
and wooed her by his gracious promises. She, in the second to the eighth 
verse, being drowsy, pretends excuses. Hereupon Christ goes away, but 
leaves a gracious scent of his quickening Spirit, enough to stir her up to seek 
after her well-beloved that was gone, who, asking after her w^ell-beloved, those 
whom she inquired of, inquired of her who he was ? and upon her descrip- 
tion of him, are enamoured with him, and stirred up to seek him also (where 
by the way mark the benefit of conference). Cant. vi. 1, and are told that he 
is gone into his garden to the beds of spices ; that is, into the congregation 
and assembly of his saints. If we will know Christ therefore, we must go 
into these gardens, where he is ever present, and there will he teach us.* 
* Cf. on the passage in Vol. II., in ' Bowels Opened.' — G. 


Use 5. And then shall we be stirred np to viarjnify God's goodness and 
mercy, th at hath reserved us to these times of knoivledr/e, and this marvellous 
light, wherein we are more blessed than John, who was the greatest of those 
born of women. We see more than he saw, Christ our Saviour, already 
ascended to be our eternal high priest. 

My Lord. 

This is the end of all our knowledge, to know Christ to be our Lord, for 
else the devils knew Christ. ' Paul I know, and Christ I know,' said he to 
those conjurors, but he could not know Christ to be his Lord. ' My Lord.' 
Not only for his-^title that he hath in me, but ' my Lord,' for the title I 
have in him. ' My beloved is mine, and I am his,' Cant. ii. 16. Mine 
he is, for he made himself mine, by redeeming me and paying the price for 
me. My head, from whom I receive force and vigour ; my husband, my 
head of eminency. Briefl}^, ' my Lord,' making me his and stirring up in 
me a love and desire to make him mine, and to rest upon him by faith. 
In the covoiant of grace therefore, there is a mutual consent between God and 
vs. He is ours ; we are his by faith to trust on him, and by love to embrace 
him, which stirs up the whole man to obedience. We may not think that 
this proceeded from a spiritual pride in the apostle, as though he thought 
himself the only darling of Christ. No. They are the words of a parti- 
cular faith and love in the apostle ; not excluding others from the like ; for 
every Christian must labour for this faith, that we may know Christ to be 
our Jesus, our Saviour, which we shall be assured of; for if he makes us 
his, he will make us to love him, and to say from our hearts, ' my Lord,' 
and my head. His love of us is the cause of our love to him. We love 
him because he loved us first. His knov»^ledge is the cause of ours ; he 
chose us, and therefore we choose him ; and if he loved me when I hated 
him, surely now I love him, he must needs love me. Again, we shall know 
that we are Christ's ; for then there will be a likeness of Christ wrought in our 
hearts. For that Spirit that stirs us up to own Christ, doth ever work the 
image of Christ in our souls ; as a seal it imprints on our soul the image 
of Christ, in all graces, of love, meekness, heavenly-mindedness, and good- 
ness. If we be the spouse of Christ, we shall represent and shew forth his 
glory, * for the woman is the glory of the man,' 1 Cor. xi. 7. Else what- 
e'er we boast, we are therein but hypocrites. We must forsake all in regard 
of Christ. 

For ivhom I have suffered the Joss of all things. 

Here St Paul confirms his resolution and judgment of the value of Christ 
above all other things ; first, he said he accounted him gain, and all other 
things loss. Lest men should think these were but brags, he infers* he 
had suffered the loss of all for him, and therefore did so highly esteem of 
him ; and then it was he was for Christ's sake stripped of all. He was in 
want, hungry, naked, went in danger of his death often, nay, he willingly 
suff'ered the loss of his privileges. He was an apostle, yet not worthy of 
the name, as he says ; and for his care in his office, though he were very 
diligent, yet by it did he not look to merit. He suffered the loss of all 
willingly. He wrought this on his heart, to lose all for Christ ; which is 
the duty that a Christian must learn, not to be only patient, but willingly 
to lose, to part with all. And therefore we are bidden to examine ourselves, 
to judge and condemn ourselves. And though the Lord hath not called us 
* That is, ' he gives this iuference,' = shews, — G. 


to the loss of all, yet win thus much of thy mind, as to be prepared for to 
lose all when we shall be called thereunto, and that in regard thereof, we 
may say we have parted with all ; for in that we part with them in our 
affections, God beholds it and takes notice thereof, and likes it, and looks 
for it ; and therefore he bids us leave all and follow him ; and if we forsake 
not all, honour, credit, yea, our lives, we cannot be his disciples. 

Avd (Jo count them hut dung. 

Shewing his loathing of them, and that ho could not endure the thought 
of them, but did abhor it as dogs' vomit, or dogs' meat, accounting it fit 
meat for none but such dogs as he spake before of. If therefore we love 
Christ, there will be a detestation of those things that cross the power of 
Christ's merits, in the same degree that we love Christ, and we will express 
our degree of love of him, by expressing the degree of hatred we bear to 
other things in comparison of him. 

Quest. But why doth the apostle so often inculcate these words ? 

Ans. To sheiv the expression of the largeness of his oion heart ; and thereby 
to work an impression thereof in the hearts of the Philippians. 

2. Secondly, To sheiv the j^ower of the Spirit, ihsit where it once leads, 
it leads further and further to a higher degree of love of Christ ; that 
the longer he is loved, the gi'eater will love grow and more fervent, so as 
the spirit constrains the person where it rules, that he cannot but speak, 
Acts iv. 20. 

3. Thirdly, To sheiv the excellency of the sidr/'ect. He dwells upon it, that 
we should think highly of it. Also, 

4. Fourthly, To shew the necessity thereof; without which we cannot look 
for salvation. 

5. Fifthly, To shexv the difficulty of coming to this esteem of Christ ; and 
to subdue our proud imaginations of our own selves, which, however, it 
will prove a hard and difficult matter. 

G. Lastly, In regard of tlie Philippians, he hneiv it toould he a difficult 
matter for them, and therefore he sought ou,t fit ivords to express the nature 
of the suhject and the truth of his esteem. Thus did the wise man, Eccles. 
xii. 10, 11, who knew that the words of the wise man are as goads. It is 
our duty to take notice hereof therefore, and to learn in what respect these 
outward things are good, and to rank them in their right places. 

Tliat I may tvin Christ. 

To win Christ, in this place, is to get a more near communion with Christ ; 
a fuller assurance of him, and a larger portion in him. For St Paul had 
Christ already ; and that made him desire a fuller enjoyment of him. 
Though his heart was not large enough to entertain all Christ, yet he desired 
to be satisfied with his fulness. 

1. First, then, it is here to be granted that Christ is gain, else why 
should the apostle desire to win him ? He is gain, I say, both in himself 
considered, and having respect to us. In himself considered ; for no jewel 
is comparable to God-man, to a Mediator. He was enriched with all graces 
that the manhood was capable of. But much more in regard of us ; for, 
first, he is our ' ransom ' from the wrath of God. Now we know a ransom 
must be a gainful thing, and of no small price that must satisfy God's 

2. Secondly, He is not only our ransom, but our purchase ; purchasing 
God's favour and heaven to us. 


8. Thirdly, He is our treasure ; for all things for this present life, as also 
for a better ; in him are the treasures of heavenly wisdom ; and of his ful- 
ness we all receive grace for grace. He is our comfort in trouble, and 
direction in all our perplexities. 

4. Fourthly, He is of that precious virtue, as he turns all to gold ; all 
things are sanctified to us, death, grave, crosses, all which, though we be 
not freed from, yet he turns them all to work our good. 

5. Fifthly, By Mm tve are made heirs, and have title to all things. He 
is our Lord ; and he that hath given Christ to us, how shall he not with 
him give us all things, Kom. viii. 32, so as in all our wants we may boldly 
come to the throne of grace. 

6. Sixthly, We hy Christ gain such offices as he himself had. We are 
kings ; we are priests ; we are over the greatest of our enemies. No more 
thralls to lust, or to the world. We may freely offer sacrifice for ourselves 
and others, in the name of this our high priest. 

7. Seventhly, We have communion with all that are good — the angels, 
the saints, the ministers. They are all ours to defend and pray for us. 
Had the young rich man this spirit of St Paul, he would have thought it 
the best bargain that ever he made, though he had parted^^with all, if he had 
gotten Christ. 

Ohj. But it may be said. True, Christ is gain ; but what hope is there 
for us to attain hereunto ? It may be as paradise in itself, yet kept from 
us by a flaming sworJ. 

Ans. 1. I answer. No. This gain may he gotten ; which is the thing I 
propound to speak of. Christ is a treasure in a field. If any one will 
seek, he may find. We had a Saviour before we were born. He was 
elected thereunto, and we to gain heaven through him ; and he was mani- 
fested in the flesh in the fulness of time to encourage us. And Christ our 
gain calls us to buy ' without money,' and invites us that are laden with sin 
to come to him, Isa. Iv. 1 ; 2 Cor. v. 20. To this end he appoints men 
to lay open his riches to allure us. 

2. Secondly, We have the Sjnnt, hy which ive lay hold on this gain. If 
we depend on God by prayer for his Spirit, and when we have gotten but 
a little portion of this gain, it makes our gains increase. To this end he 
gives us the word and sacraments ; and this condemns those that live in 
the field where this pearl is, and have the ministry to shew them it ; and 
yet they do neglect this so great a jewel. And this ought to stir us up to 
magnify God's goodness to us, who hath recovered us, that were the lost 
sons of a lost father, and keeps us from returning back into our former 
natural estate. 

3. Thirdly, This gain is not to he gotten hut at a price. It must be gotten 
by parting with all outward things, so far as to make them gain to us. 

Quest. Ah, but is God thus hard to us, that he will not allow us the 
enjoyment of the comforts of this life, but we must for them lose Christ ? 

Ans. I answer, God denies us not our worldly comforts ; for Paul had 
them. But when they come in competition with Christ, for excellency 
and superiority in esteem, as also when thou art called forth for the con- 
fession of the truth, then be at a point to count all, yea, thy life, dross and 
dung. AVe must therefore resolve and forecast the worst ; and leave not 
till thou workest this mind within thee, to endure the worst rather than 
lose peace of conscience. 

And therefore we may well conclude from hence, that confidence in Christ 
and in outward things cannot stand together. We cannot love God and 


mammon ; and tlierefore, if we part not •with the world, look to part with 
Christ, which we may note against the politicians of our times, that think 
themselves the only wise men. In their esteem Paul was but a weak man, 
and knew not how to esteem things. They can trust in God, they hope, 
and yet provide against the worst. The time will come when they will find 
they have been made fools indeed ; when God will say he knows them not, 
and their riches shall take their wings and leave them without hope of 

And therefore let us acquaint oxirselvcs with Christ's value, loith the vanity 
of outiuard things, and meditate hereon ; and at length thou shalt find the 
same mind in thee that was in St Paul. 

In the last place, we may hence observe ivho they he that have not gained 
Christ ; for are there not many that will not part with a sin, no, though it 
be a sin that brings no profit or pleasure at all with it, as swearing and 
blaspheming God's name ? Nay, are there not those that, Judas-like, sell 
Christ for thirty pieces of money, nay, it may be for less ? A goodly price 
to set heaven, happiness, and their own souls at! Let any man tell them 
hereof, they will swear you do them open wrong, and be ready to cut your 
throat for saying so. How far are these from true grace ! 

4. The fourth and last general observation is, that when we have parted 
with all, we are to know that we are gainers. For Christ in Mark x. 30 
saitli — whose promises are yea and amen — that he shall have a hundred- 
fold in this life ; that is, so much content as shall be worth an hundredfold. 
For when a man's conscience can tell him, These and these things I parted 
with, only to obtain peace of conscience, that peace of conscience shall give 
him more content than the whole world can bring to him. And what can 
a man desire above content and comfort ? It is all we seek for here, which 
if we have not, all is nothing. 

5. Fifthly,* He that hath Christ can be no loser ; for in him all things are 
eminently and fundamentally ; for he is Lord of all, and what I lose for his 
sake, if it be good for me, he hath said I shall have it. 

Hence we may see therefore the wisest man and the noblest spirit. Who 
is the wisest man ? He that makes the best choice. It is judgment makes 
a man ; not he that hath confused notions swimming in his brain. Now a 
Christian considers things, lays them together, judges of them duly ; he 
therefore is the wise man. The wicked man he is a fool. He parts with 
an invaluable pearl for his present delight in a few idle, vain, childish 
baubles and toys. Who is also the most truly noble-minded ? An advised 
true Christian. He is able to set at nought that for which the world forget 
God, heaven, soul, and all for. He can despise the pleasures of a court 
and of a country. His eye is on his soul, on heaven, on the innumerable 
company of angels, on that presence where is fulness of joy. A wicked 
man routs f in the dirt of this world. ' See what manner of stones and 
building are here,' Mark xiii. 1. That is their delight, to admire the stage 
of this world. But had they known this gift of God, this peace of con- 
science, and the comfort thereof, they would look after another city and 
foundation, whose builder only is God. 

Quest. But how shall we know whether we have made this choice or not ? 

Ans. I answer, B}^ these signs : 

First, If a man accounts of anything, his eye and mind will he on it. If 
we account Christ as our gain, our hearts will be set on him continually ; 
if he be our treasure, our hearts will be on him. 

* Misprinted ' Secondly.'— G. t That is, ' digs.'— G. 



Secondly, If we have made choice of liim, our hearts will joy in Mm above 
all things ; as he that found the jewel went away rejoicing. ' Shew me the 
light of thy countenance ; for therein do I delight,' saith David. Where 
true helief is, there is joy, Zacchcus, the jailor, and the eunuch, after they 
were converted, they rejoiced. This makes a covetous man not regard at 
all what men say of him, for he hath that which they would be glad of. So 
ought it to be with us ; let us be taunted, mocked, flouted at, if we have 
chosen Christ, all is one. We have other things to comfort us, and our 
eyes will be upon them. 

The third note is. If loe can part tvith anything for Christ, and endure any 
hard measure, for the sense and assurance we have in Christ Jesus. Many 
are so far herefrom as they will not part with the least earthly pleasure for 
Christ. Such as these, though they say they have peace of conscience, 
they lie ; for they can have no more peace of conscience than they have 
love to Christ ; nor more love than they have an esteem of him above all 

Fourthly, He that hath made this choice must part uith all things ivhat- 
ever he loves, yea, his dearest affections and lusts ; for a bird catched, though 
but by a wing, yet is she as surely the fowler's as if her whole body were 
bound ; so if we favour or like and embrace but one sin, though we think 
not thereof, there is a flood of sin comes in at that gate. He that is' guilty 
of one sin is guilty of all. 

Quest. But the weak Christian will object. Are we not, yea, the best of 
us, troubled with our personal secret infirmities ? What shall then become 
of us ? 

Ans. I answer, * Fear not.' For it is true, though the best child of God 
be thus troubled, yet he pleads against it, he hates it, he undermines it, 
and strives against it ; and thus opposing it, it is not accounted to him by 
God. But if he forsakes all sin in heart but one, the devil will suffer it 
and endure it well enough, for he knows he is sure enough. 

The fifth note is. That such an one can be content to be at some cost, yea, 
loss and jxuns, for the word, for the field wherein this pearl is hid. He that 
is not of this mind cares not for the word. It is not" that men can speak 
well and commend it ; for many will do so, yet afterward make a mock of 
it, especially being in some company. But he that esteems it once will 
ever esteem it, and in all company will extol it. Herod, a veryn-eprobate, 
may seem well affected where there is no temptation, or while the word is 
preached. Can this be a plea to God at the last day, who searcheth and 
knows thy heart ? Many dream they have this when indeed they have 
nought but the shell. How few can say in truth, I have denied this or 
that commodity, and refused my profit for Christ's sake ! Those that have 
done this, let them know they have a most rich gain, and the best gain of 
all others. They have a universal gain, that will comfort at all times. 
Riches and honours cannot cure the troubled mind ; neither can they 
deliver in the day of wrath. 

Then, in the next place, let them know they have an everlasting gain, 
that will comfort us for ever and ever. In the last place, such as have 
won Christ, they have such a gain as makes them that have him truly rich, 
and noble, and good. Other riches without grace do corrupt us. The 
image of God is the true and intrinsecal worth. Let this encourage us to 
labour to get Christ, to attend the means that lay his riches open ; and 
thereby shall our love be so stirred up, and our judgment so sanctified, as 
we shall be of St Paul's mind, to account all other things loss in regard of 


him ; and tlierefore it is no wonder that those that have not the benefit of 
the means want this esteem. 

And he found in him. 

Some read the words actively, that I may find Christ ; but the phrase in 
the original varying from the former, therefore it is better translated as 
we have it, passively (p). But when is it that St Paul desireth to be found 
in Christ ? Ever, no doubt, but especially at the hour of death and day of 

The phrase implies, first, that there is an estate in Christ ; secondly, an 
abiding in it ; and thirdly, to be found abiding in him. For the handling 
whereof, we will first explain the phrase ; secondl^y, we will shew what 
doctrines it doth clear ; then we will come to some instructions arising 
therefrom. The phrase, * to be in Christ,' is taken from plants which are 
grafted into stocks, or from the branches, which ai-e said to be in the tree. 
Thus are we in the vine. It is Christ's own comparison. And of this 
union with Christ there are three degrees. 

First, We are in Christ and in God, first loving us ; and so we were in 
him before we were. He chose us from all eternity. 

Secondly, When Christ died, then we were in him as a public person. 

Thirdly, We are said most properly to be in him now when we believe 
in him ; and thus principally is the sense understood in this place. And 
thus we are in Christ, not as the manhood is in Christ, but mystically ; not 
as friends in one another by love, but by faith we are engrafted ; as truly 
as the branches are in the vine, so are we one. 

Ohj. But Christ is in heaven, we are on earth ; how can we be imited to 
him that is so far distant from us ? 

Ans. I answer. If a tree did reach to heaven, and have its root in the 
earth, doth this hinder that the branches and the root are not united ? In 
nowise. So Christ he is in heaven, and we on earth, yet are we united to 
him by his Spirit, and receiving influence from him of all grace and 

Now let us see what doctrines are cleared hereby : first, it clears the 
point oi justification by Christ. For if the question be. How we are saved 
by Christ's righteousness ? I answer, Christ and we are both one. Doth 
not the eye see for the body ? Are not the riches of the husband and wife 
all one ? Yes. And even also whatsoever Christ hath is ours ; he is our 
husband ; he is our head. In the second place, it clears the matter of the 
sacrament. The papists would have the bread transubstantiated into the 
body of Christ, that it may be united to us. I answer, how is the foot in 
the head ? Is it not by spiritual vigour passing to and fro through the 
body, but chiefly in the head. It is not therefore necessary that there 
should be any corporal union. Nay, Christ comforted his disciples more 
by his Spirit when he departed from them than he did by his corporal pre- 
sence. We say also, that the mystical body of Christ is invisible, because 
the Spirit whereby we are made one is invisible. 

TJiis should comfort us at all times and in all estates. Before we were in 
Christ we were in an estate of horror, in an estate of damnation. Now to 
be reduced to Christ (what comfort is it to be one of a politic body ? It is 
but for life. Or to be in any man's favour ? It is but at will) ; this is a 


most excellent, glorious, and eternal being; that-man's nature should be so 
highly advanced as to be united to the Godhead. Yea, our persons are 
mystically united to Christ. Secondly, in all crosses or losses. What 
though we lose other states, here is a state cannot be shaken. Thirdly, in 
the hour of death ice are in Christ ; and blessed are they that die in the 
Lord. Death, that separates the soul from the body, cannot separate either 
from Christ. Fom-thly, after death. Can it go hard with me that am in 
Christ, that am his spouse ? I am in him in whom is fulness of comfort. 
Fifthly, in all xoants here I have him to supply all. He will give what is 
necessary. If we should have fulness of grace here we should not desire 
to be in heaven hereafter. Sixthly, in persecution all my hurt redounds to 
him: 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?' Acts ix. 4. That which 
thou dost to my members thou dost to me ? 

In the fourth place, Let us consider liovj this being in Christ is a ground of 
doing of all clidy. I say therefore it will direct us in duties to God, towards 
men, and to ourselves. 

First, In duties towards God, liow thanlfid ought we to he to him, for 
taking us to himself, for being Immanuel, God with us, so that we are 
become bone of his bone. What need we now saints or angels to intercede 
for us ? Who should Christ hear above his own flesh ? For duties towards 
men, this ought to stir us to duties of peace and unity. Shall we be so 
unnatural as to fall out with the members of our own body ? Non est concors 
cum Christo uhi est discors cum Christiana . 

Secondly^ It ought to stir us up to duties of respect to each other, consider- 
ing they are members of Christ as we are, and shall so be found in him 
ere long. 

Thirdly, This should stir us up to charity to the poor members of Christ. 
They being his members are fellow-members ; and in loving them and 
doing them good, we shew our love to Christ himself. 

And in the last place. Towards ourselves, we are to carry ourselves tuith 
more respect, and not to prostitute ourselves to every base pleasure. Con- 
sider in whom am I, and to what I am redeemed, and with what price ? 
Shall I make my body the member of an harlot, who am the member of 
Christ ? This pride and high esteem of ourselves above base pleasures and 
lusts, this is commendable ; and therefore the apostle had good reason thus 
to account of these earthly things to be ' dross and dung.' In the second 
place, this will teach us to see our residence in Christ, and growth in hivi ; 
for if we be in Christ, we will have an especial eye to our conversation,'] that 
we be not feet of iron and clay under a golden head, as many base licen- 
tious drunkards and filthy persons esteem of themselves. Will Christ own 
such members as these, think we? No. Those that are in Christ, Christ 
will be in them, discovering himself by ruling in them. His house is holy. 
If we be of his house, we will not desire, grieve, nor affect,- but by the 
sway of his Spirit. 

In the last place, Hoiv shall we come to be found in Christ ? 

Ans. I answer, we must first come where he is. We shall find him in 
the temple, teaching and strengthening our faith and love ; and so in our 
judgments and affections we shall be in him. Secondly, we must separate 
ourselves from the contrary to Christ, as a loyal wife will from all doubtful 
acquaintance. We must depart from antichrist, our own corruptions and 
lusts, and daily we must labour to get ground of them. 

And from the words this we may learn : first, that a Christian is con- 
* That is, ' love.'— Q. 


tinually imder Chrisfs wing till he be in heaven, else how could the apostle 
desire to be found in him at the day of judgment ? 

Secondly, We learn that there is siceh a time when God will, as it were 
with a candle, search men out, and lay them open as they are. This is not 
thought upon. Men now shuffle it off, I shall be saved as well as any 
other, and this and that good company I am acquainted withal. Trust not, 
I say, to good acquaintance. There is a time of separation, when thou shalt 
be found out as thou art in thine own colours. 

Thirdly, Hence we learn that the foundation of future happiness must he 
laid now. Before we can be with Christ in the kingdom of glory we must 
be his members in the kingdom of grace. Dost thou live therefore a cor- 
rupt and carnal life here ? Never think to be found in him hereafter. And 
therefore let the uncertainty of this life be a spur to thee, to watch over thy 
ways, so as thou be such at this and all other times as you would be willing 
to be found at that day. Many boast hereof, but their lives savour nothing 
hereof, but are knit altogether to their lusts or to antichrist. Woe to such. 
They shall go on the left hand. But such as Christ finds in him it must 
needs go well with them. Christ will not judge them for whom he died, 
but shall set them on his right hand for evermore. 

Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the laxv. 
In these words, and those following, the apostle lays down summarily 
his desire, first, negatively in these words, he desired ' not to be found in 
Christ trusting to his own righteousness ;' implying a difference and dis- 
tinction between his righteousness by the law and that by Christ. The 
righteousness ' by the law' he disclaims as any way meritorious, and that 
as well habitual, wrought by God in him, or actual righteousness, consist- 
ing in the outward works that he did. And that with good reason ; for, 
first, man's righteousness is but finite, and therefore unfit to work or deserve 
infinitely, and impossible to deserve heaven and the joys thereof. Secondly, 
This righteousness is imperfect, and stained as a ' menstruous cloth,' and 
unable to quiet or satisfy our own consciences, much less God who is 
greater than our own consciences. And therefore the saints prayed, ' Enter 
not into judgment with thy servants. Lord, for in thy sight shall no flesh 
be justified.' But the papists answer, the work of God is perfect ; but 
our righteousness is the work of God, and therefore perfect. We say that 
the works of God are within us or without us. The works of God without 
us are perfect, but those that are within us are imperfect, still savouring of 
our pollution and corruption, by reason that the old man in us perverteth 
all that is good in us, and therefore jKirtus sequitur ventrem.* Secondly, 
It is true that the w'orks of God within us are so far perfect as tend to the 
end he works them for in us, but our righteousness was never ordained of 
God to that end as to save us by them, and therefore they cannot accom- 
plish that end ; but God works this righteousness in us to convince us of 
our own weakness, and to be a testimony of the presence of his Spirit in 
us. Paul therefore says not, I will not have mine own righteousness ; but, 
' I desire not to be found in my righteousness,' so as to merit salvation 

But that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of 
God by faith : that I may knoio him and the power of his resurrection. 
That is, that righteousness which is in Christ, but laid hold on of me 
* That is, ' the birth takes of the womb.' Cf. Ps. xli. 5. — G. 


and apprehended by faith ; and all that righteousness that he had, both 
active and passive obedience as Mediator, but especially his passive. For 
he was born, lived, and died for us ; and this is that which St Paul desired 
to be * found in,' and this is that which we must trust to. 

But how can this righteousness, performed wholly by him, be mine ? 

I answer, By faith it is made ours ; for if Christ be ours, all his right- 
eousness must consequently be made ours. 

But how can this righteousness performed by Christ be sufficient for us ? 

I answer, First, Because God ordained it to that purpose : 1 Cor. i. 30, 
* Christ by God is made to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and 
redemption ;' and to this end God the Father sealed him,' John vi. 27. 

Secondly, I say, Christ is a ' second Adam,' and a public person, and 
became ours, we then being in his loins ; so the righteousness of Christ is 
made ours, we being born in Christ by faith and found in him. He being 
our head, we have a sphitual life descending upon us ; he being our 
husband, all his goods are ours also. This'point is the soul of the church, 
and the golden key which opens heaven for us. If we join any other thing 
to it, it opens hell to us, as God will reveal at that great day. It is true 
the papists do acknowledge now that their good works are not of themselves 
but from God ; but thus did the Pharisee, ' he thanked God that he was 
not as other men, nor as the publican,' Luke xviii. 11. But the poor 
publican, disclaiming all such goodness, went away justified rather than the 
other. Let it be our wisdom therefore to rely only on Christ, whose obe- 
dience and righteousness is so all-sufficient as nothing may be added 
thereto, and say with the apostle, ' Not I, but the grace of God in me,' 
1 Cor. XV. 10. 

VEESE 10. 

And the fellowship of his sufferings. 

The apostle having shewed his desire of Christ's righteousness, now 
comes to shew his desire also of having communion with Christ in his 
sufferings ; shewing that whosoever brags of justification, he must shew it 
in his sanctification. He must shew that he hath his part in the fellow- 
ship of his suffiirings, if he meaneth to shew he hath his part in the power 
of his resurrection. Water is not alone, but water and blood must go 
together. Now Christ's sufferings are either for us as Mediator, or with 
us as being our head, and we his members. As Mediator he suffered death, 
which was only for our good. We can have no trust in our death as to 
deserve anything thereby as he did ; for by his death he appeased God's 
wrath, and got his favour to us which we lost, and by it he sanctifies our 
sufferings and pulls out the sting of all our afflictions ; as it is with the 
unicorn, who having put his horn into the water, discharges all poison 
thereout, so as the beasts may freely diink without hurt [q). So it is with 
us : we may suffer and endure afflictions without hurt, seeing Christ hath 
purged them of all poisonous nature that was in them. 

But there ai'e other sufferings that we and Christ suffer jointly, he as 
our head suffering with us his members ; for as if the foot be grieved the 
head is grieved, so the Christian's sufferings are called Christ's sufierings, 
and a Christian must look to suffer if he be a lively member of the body 
of Christ. Yet is not every suffering of affliction Christ's suffering, for a 
man may suffer justly for his deserts. Notwithstanding even then, when a 


man suffers for his faults, after repentance Christ may be said to suffer 
with him ; and therefore the fathers called the death of the repentant 
thief a mart3Tdom. For in all our sufferings Christ is in us, teaching and 
helping us to bear them with patience, and as a sanctifier of all of them to 
a blessed end, and as one that frames us to bear all of them, even as he 
himself did. 

Use 1. This ought to teach us to conceive aright of the estate of a Chris- 
tian, that he is not alone when he seems to be alone. Christ leaves them 
not in misery. No. For in misery he is most near and present. It is 
therefore a good estate, though misery in itself be not desirable, for Christ 
desired to die and not to die, and so we in several respects may do. For 
if we regard death as a destroyer of nature, so is it not to be desired ; but 
considering it as the will of God my Father, so are we to desire it and 
yield ourselves to it. And accordingly we desire not afflictions for their 
proper natural good, yet in regard they are a means to prepare and fit us 
for heaven, we say with David, 'It is good for us to be afflicted,' Ps. 
cxix .67. 

Use 2. In the second place, this will teach us that we are not to fear any- 
thing that xve shall suffer, because there are more with us than against us. 
Joseph in the dungeon, Israel in Egypt, Daniel among the lions, the three 
children in the fire, Paul in prison, feared not danger ; for what cared they 
so long as they knew God Avas with them ; and therefore they rejoiced. If 
we have Christ we have all, if we want Christ we want all. 

Use 3. Thirdly, This may serve to daunt Christ's enemies. They cannot 
hurt the least of his Httle ones but they hurt him. ' Saul, why persecutest 
thou me ? ' 

Use 4. Fourthly, This should teach us to take jmrt tvith GocVs children. 
What though they suffer affliction. Moses chose the better part, that did 
choose to be with the afflicted people of God before the court of Pharaoh. 
Wicked men may bite and kick, but they can do no hurt, lingua vialorum 
est lima bonorum. 

Being made conformahle to his death. 

This conformity here meant is not in regard of the end, that as Christ 
died for sin so should we, but in the manner of suffering. As he did suffer 
and die, so must we suffer and desire death. Secondly, As he died 
patiently and meekly, so must wo suffer patiently and meekly. Thirdly, 
As he had, so must we have, sweet comforts to sustain and support us ; 
and fourthly, As he had, so must we endeavour to obtain the same issue 
of our affliction ; that is, eternal glory. Briefly, We are to be conformable 
to (Jhrist in grace, in suffering, and in glory. All these are inevitably 
linked together, and our head having led us an example, we are to follow. 
Every Christian must therefore die to sin, as Christ died for sin. 

But how shall we know whether we die to sin or not ? 

A dead man does no harm, hath no power ; contrarily, are we strong to 
commit sin, and do we earnestly intend* it ? Surely we are not mortified. 
Secondly, Dead men's senses are not delighted with fair and sinful objects. 
If we be dead with Christ, let the sinful objects be never so delightful, they 
will not move us or affect us one whit ; nay, they will be distasteful to us. 
Most are of a contrary mind. Offer them good discoux'se and occasions, 
they cannot away with them ; offer any fleshly pleasure : like tinder, they 
are soon set on fire. Such as these, as they have no heart to suffer for 
* That is, = follow after it, ' stretch toward it.' — G. 

VOL. V. O 


righteousness, so if for vain glory they would, neither would God honour 
them so much as to suffer them. For grounds of this doctrine. 

First, It is honourable to be like Christ our captain, our head, our husband. 

Secondly, It is not proportionable for the head to be crowned icith thorns, 
and the members to be clad delicatehj ; that the natural son, in whom there 
is no blemish, should suffer, and the adopted sons, who are the causes of 
all offence, should go free. It is equity, that we having taken Christ for 
our husband, he should be accompanied by us in sickness and in health, in 
dishonour as in honour. 

Thirdly, It is long ago decreed of God, aud predestinated, and therefore 
cannot be avoided. Rom. viii. 7, 9, ' Whom he did foreknow, them he 
predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son.' 

Fourthly, It is equal, that if he were conformed to us, we should be 
conformable to him. Now he was conformed to us, in that he suffered that 
which we should have suffered, and did that for us which we were to do 
and could not. He having drunk deep of the cup prepared for us, let us 
therefore, at the least, taste of it. Yea, let us suffer anything with an 
undaunted courage when we are called thereto for Christ. He will come 
with comforts, he is not empty, he will make us like him, he will prepare 
us hereby for glory. Fear not, therefore. God will turn all thy troubles 
to thy good. And thus we do fill up the measures of the afflictions of 
Christ in our flesh. Col. i. 24. And are made partakers of Christ's suffer- 
ings, 1 Peter, iv. 13. We have the like exhortations hereunto, 1 Peter 
ii. 21 ; 1 Peter iii. 14-18. Thus did Paul, 2 Cor. iv. 10, he carried the 
dying of Christ about with him. Let no Christian therefore promise to 
himself immunity from crosses. He that will be a Christian must be con- 
formable to Christ, and he that will be like to him in glory, he must be 
like to him in drinking the cup he drank of while he was here in the flesh. 

VERSE 11. 

' If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. 

■ By 'resurrection of the dead,' he means the glorious estate after this 
life, whereas* the resurrection is but the beginning; and the words sound as 
much in effect as if the apostle had said, I know I shall be happy at length, 
but between this time and that, I know I shall meet with troubles, with 
many crosses ; yet let the way be never so difficult, I passf not by any 
means to come to such an excellent end as the resurrection of the dead is ; 
in^which words we will, 

First, Consider that there is a hap^py estate reserved hereafter, which begins 
with the resurrection of the body, whereby we are far more happy than the 
angels that fell, and also more happy than we were in our first estate in 
Adam, which we lost ; and therefore our hearts should be enlarged with 
thanks to God, that respects us above the angels, whom he hath left without 
hope of recovery. 

2. In the next place, consider that the beginning of our blessed estate 
hereafter is at the resurrection, which is called the day of restoring of all 
things, and a time of refreshing, Acts iii. 19. It is a day when all good 
shall be perfected, and all evil shall cease ; all grief of mind, all trouble of 
body, and death itself, shall be swallowed up into victory. 

Quest. But why are we not happy before our resurrection 7 

Ans. I answer, because our bodies and souls are partakers of misery and 
* Qu. ' whereof '?— Ed. t That is, ' value.'— G. 


sin liere, and therefore cannot partake of fulness of happiness beforethey 
be united together again. God will have us to stay while all his family of 
blessed saints shall meet together, as well us that are now alive as our seed 
and posterity after us. 

3. In the third place observe, that the apostle makes resurrection of the 
dead the last thing ; cstahJlshing thcrchij an order, that there must be nieans 
to the resurrection, and then tlie resurrection itself. ' Ought not Christ to 
suffer these things, and so to enter into his glory ?' Luke xxiv. 20, And 
if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him, 2 Tim. ii. 12. The 
second resurrection must begin with the first. We are sons and saints 
hereafter, but so we must also be here ; only a difference there will be in 
degree of hohness. This resurrection doth not follow every manner of life, 
although men ordinarily expect a crown without crosses, and never look 
for justification and sanctification, but think they shall be in heaven at an 
instant without them. But we must sufier with Christ in mount Calvary, 
before we come with him to the mount Olivet. 

4. In the fourth place, we may likewise note, that it is hard to come to 
heaven, because of this order estabhshed by God : not in comparison of the 
end — for that surmounteth in excellency the hardness of the means, — but 
in respect of the means ; some by fair death, with many crosses in theu- 
life ; some not by many outward crosses, yet have store of inward troubles 
of the mind, by reason of their inward corruption that doth trouble them ; 
others by violent deaths and by martyrdom. The ways are so many, and 
the means so diverse, as there is no certainty which way we shall pass. 
As St Paul knew not the means, so he cared not what the means were ; for 
he was content to go thither by any means. Let the cup of affliction be 
never so bitter, the glory ensuing will sweeten all. 

1. Away, therefore, with all idle and secure thoughts of sparing ourselves. 
' Pity thyself,' said Peter to Christ ; but was answered sharply, ' Get thee 
behind me, Satan,' Mat. xvi. 23.* No ; the way is very hard. We must 
come to health by physic. The end is so amiable, as it will sweeten all 
sour means ; and therefore it is good for us to be afflicted. Crosses bring 
at length the sweetest comforts. Deny we ourselves, therefore, in Christ s 
cause ; know nobody ; look upon God and Christ's promises, and promise 
we om-selves no more than God promises. It is beyond our knowledge what 
God will do with us. He promises no immunity from crosses. 

Nay, the saints and the apostles chose crosses and afflictions, rather than 
the pleasures of sin, who were wise, and had trial of both kinds ; and yet 
accounts these momentary afflictions not worthy of comparison with the 
glory that shall be revealed. They were but light, 2 Cor. iv. 17 ; Rom. 
viii. 18. And if we would truly believe this, it would be easy for us to be 
resolved, as St Paul was, to come to heaven by all assurances, and to come 
to all manner of assurances, [^y any means ; for no worldly thing can bring 
content like these heavenly assurances of the presence of the light of God s 
love, which the children of God will by no means lose. 

2. Secondly, In all crosses let us not look into the state we are in, so much 
as that we are going into. We are going to a palace : let us not be dejected 
in the consideration of the narrowness of the way that leadeth thereto. God 
will not sufier this fiery trial to consume anything but dross ; and therefore, 
let us with Christ suffer the cross, and despise the shame, Heb. xii. 2. 

3. Thirdly, Labour for a right esteem of the things of this world. They 
are but momentary and fading ; yea, our lives they are given to us by God. 

* Cf. Note g, Vol. II. page 194.— G. 


What if we part with them ? If it be for his cause, he will bring us to a 
better life which shall not be taken away from us, and this life we must 
part with ere long. And thus we ought to work on ourselves, by often 
meditating of them, as the saints have done. 

4. In the fourth place, We are to labour to strengthen three graces in us 
especially : faith, to assure us that we are the children of God, and that we 
have heaven, and all things belonging thereto, laid up for us ; and we are 
to labour to see more and more into the value of them. And then we are 
to strengthen our hope, which makes us cheerfully to undergo and do any- 
thing for God's cause, through our expectation of that which faith believes. 
Lastly, let us cherish our love of Christ. This m^ade St Paul desire to be 
dissolved, and to be with Christ, which was best of all, Philip, i. 23.'"' And 
this love comes from faith and hope ; and these together will breed a large- 
ness of heart that cares for no worldly thing, and will be daunted with no 
affliction or crosses whatever. 

But how far are wie herefrom ? Did St Paul part with life ? It pertains 
not to us. No ; not to leave a new-fangled fashion, nor an oath whereby 
we tear God's name daily. Alas, where is faith ? What corruption is here 
overcome ? Which of us will ever be of Paul or David's mind, to become 
vile or base for God's cause ?f Where is he that will endure a scoff or scorn 
for religion ? Let us beg of God this large spirit and large affections. The 
children of heaven have a free spirit, basely esteeming all worldly things. 
Zaccheus, when he is called, cares not for his goods, nor Paul for his privi- 
leges. The Stoics commend this resolution in men, to be willing and ready 
to die. Alas ! crosses and afflictions Paul esteemed not, so as he might 
attain to the resurrection of the dead. These are the things that the Stoics 
feared most ; and it was the fear of these made them so willing and ready to 
die, together with a base servitude to pride. But a Christian heart is more 
noble. It not only fears not these, but it contemns them. Yea, cares not 
for life without afflictions, but with joy can undergo all manner of torments. 

Let us therefore take heed how we quiet ourselves in our earthly chuellings 
here, supposing our estate to be happy. Surely it is the main ground of 
apostasy. We shall never come to see the price of religion, nor the excel- 
lency of a peaceable conscience, nor the vanity of these things, so long as 
we bless ourselves in them. And contrarily, let iis exercise our graces in the 
daily trials we meet with here. Doth favour of great men, doth pleasure, 
profit, or honour, cross and oppose thy conscience ? Let the peace thereof 
be preferred above all evermore, else shalt thou never come to Paul's holy 
resolution. And dream not of a vain, empty faith. Thou hast no more 
than thou dost practise. It is not * Lord, Lord,' that will prevail at the 
day of judgment ; but Christ will be ashamed of them at the day of judg- 
ment, that made no more account of him while they lived, than to prefer 
every vain, idle, wanton delight and pleasure before his honour. 

VEESE 12. 

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect. 

It is a connection of the apostle. He formerly spake of his desire, choice, 
and esteem of Christ's death and resurrection, and the force thereof he 
found in him. Now, lest secret, insinuating, proud conceits might arise, 
either in himself or in them, concerning his holiness, he crosses them with 

• The original is, * toXAcT ya^ [laX'Kov xoiTffffov' = ' for it is very far better.' — G. 
t Cf. 2 Sam. vi. 22 ; Mat. v. 11, 12 ; Acts v. 41, 42 ; Heb. xii. 2 ; 1 Pet. iv. 14.— G. 


a ' not as,' shewing that the best estate of God's children in this world is 
imperfect. There is ever something to do or suffer ; some lust to conquer, 
or some grace to strengthen. 

There is no absolute perfection but only in God himself ; yet in Chris- 
tians there is a kind of derivative spiritual perfection, which consisteth 
chiefly in the parts. A Christian hath this perfection. He hath all grace 
in some measure. We have no other perfection ; no, not so much as 
perfectio vice., though the papists say they have it. Indeed, we are so far 
from it, that never could Christian keep the rules of nature, much less can 
we attain to the perfection of obedience to the law, for by it we are all 
cursed. Nay, in Christ none attains to evangelical perfection of grace, so 
as thereby we can be justified, as by a work of our own ; for our right- 
eousness is but in part ; and this perfectio via, which they boast of so much, 
differs not from their pe)fectio finis, no more than love to a man raised by 
good report of him differeth from love caused by the good I find in him, by 
personal communicating with him ; and this is only in degrees in nature. 
They are the same love. 

But why or how is it that there is no perfection of grace in this life ? 

Because there is and ever shall he in us, daring this life, a perpetual combat 
between the flesh and spirit, so as one weakens and hinders the other. Paul 
at the best found a law in his members warring against the law of his mind, 
Rom. vii. 23 ; the flesh continually lusting against the spirit. Gal. v. 24, 
hindering us from doing good, or in doing good, or in doing thereof, from 
doing it in a right manner. 

Obj. 1. But the papists object. Love is the fulfilling of the law. We may 
love ; ergo, we may fulfil the law, and consequently be perfect. 

I answer. Love in the abstract being perfect, is the fulfilling of the law, 
but in this or that subject it is not perfect. Paul's love, nor Peter's love, 
was not the fulfilling of the law. 

Obj. 2. They urge further. All God's works are perfect ; ergo, the grace that 
is in us. 

It is true God's works are perfect, but in their times when they are 
finished ; grace at length shall be perfect in us. 

Secondly, All God's works without us are perfect, as justification and 
glorification they are perfect. For we are perfectly justified even now; 
but his works within us, such as are his sanctifying graces, are not per- 
fected till our time of glorification. For he suffers the old Adam to be 
within us, for divers reasons, so long as we live in this earthly tabernacle. 

For use hereof, observe this as a ground for justification by faith. Paul, 
Rom. v. 9, proves that even now he was justified, and in this place he 
denies and disclaims absolute perfection, and therefore could not be justi- 
fied by it ; and therefore must needs be justified by faith. If it were his 
case it is much more ours, who come not to that measure of the fulness of 
grace that he attained to. 

Secondly, This may serve to comfort Christians that find themselves bur- 
dened with divers wants, with dulness and frowardness of spirit, and with 
manifold corruptions, and are induced thereby to call in question their 
Christian estate. Let them look upon a better pattern than themselves. 
They may be grown Christians, and yet complain with Paul of corruptions. 
Nay, the most strong Christians see most deeply and clearly into their 
corruptions, and find most opposition. There is in all men by nature a 
spring of popery. They would fain deserve heaven by a perfect and holy 
life, without blot ; and God, to humble them, suffers corruptions to check 


them and to keep them under, -who else would be lifted up through good 
conceit and esteem ot themselves. 

Thirdl}', It may serve as a caution to many who, being reproved justly 
for their faults, What ! say they, ice are not angels ; you have your own 
imperfections as well as I. And stir them up to any good duty, they are 
presently so good, as those that are better than they arc too precise and too 
nice. St Paul contrarily rests in no degree of goodness, but strives on to 
perfection ; and it is the devil's sophistry' to turn that to a plea for negli- 
gence, which should stir us up to be more diligent, watchful, and careful. 

But IfoUoxo after, if that I may apprehend that for which I also am appre- 
hended of Christ Jesus. 

The word that is translated ' I follow after,' signifies properly to labour 
with earnest intention of the heart and affections ; and the lesson that we 
may hence learn is, that the life of a Christian is a lahorious and painful 
life. For in what proportion the things we labour for are more excellent 
than these worldly things, so much greater our desire and labour should 
be in the obtaining of them than in the obtaining this world's goods. 
And to this end the Scripture ever enforceth this duty with words suitable 
to work : ' Labour for the meat that perisheth not,' John vi. 27 ; ' Strive 
to enter in at the strait gate,' Luke xiii. 24 ; ' Give all diligence to make 
your calling and election sure,' 2 Pet. i. 10. 

Those that will take no pains, it is a sure sign they find no sweetness 
in the thing ; and therefore in such there can be no true goodness. And 
hence wc may observe a difference between the desires of men. Some are 
efiectual, some ineffectual. Those that are ineffectual commonly desire 
and delight in the thing they desire, but will none of the means : ' Let me 
die the death of the righteous,' says the wicked man, Num. xxiii. 10. Glory 
and happiness is excellent, but the gate is narrow, the way is tedious and 
full of troubles : he will none of that. We will laugh at one that shall 
wish his work and journey were done, whenas he will sit down and never 
go about it. "Why should we not much more laugh at such sluggards, 
that wish daily. Oh that they might be saved ! whenas they do not only 
not further, but hinder their salvation. But where true desire of grace is, 
there will be joined thereto an endeavour, with jealousy over our corrup- 
tions, with grief and shame for them, and for our backwardness and want 
of goodness ; for else bell itself is full of good wishes and desires. If we 
mean to be better, we must use all means, undertake all pains, and travail 
with vehemency ; even as those that pursue gains with delight, they follow 
through thick and thin, especially if the gain be in the eye ; and those 
that go for company, they are soon tired. And thus did Paul. He went 
through fire and water, through all manner of dangers, good and ill report. 
His gain is still in his eye. He looks not after the way, if by any means 
he may attain his desired mark. 

But how shall we come to this grace ? 

I answer. Get first faith ; for by it the weak are made strong, Heb. xi. 35, 
seq. Get assurance that heaven is thine ; and God hath promised thee grace 
sufficient, and this is Paul's argument : * Be yc constant and unmoveable, 
always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing your labour shall not 
be in vain.' Where hope of reward is in the use of the means, it will stir 
us up to a constant use of the means, 1 Cor. xv. 58. Secondly, Get a fer- 
vent love : for it is a strong affection. If lust so prevail with us, as we will 
omit no means to accomplish it, then a love in itself is much more power- 

1 PHILIPPIANS CnAP. Ill, VER. 12. 103 

ful, nothing being too hard for it. It hath an enlarging, knitting, and com- 
municating power. It makes a man bestow all, and rejoice more in doing 
good by much than in receiving. It is a grace comprehends a number 
under it ; and therefore Christ comprehended all the law under the love of 
God and our neighbour. Thirdly, Cut off all superjiailies. Men think they 
ai-e happy when they have much to do, when indeed they were happy if 
they had less to do than they have. Satan he does as Cyrus did with the 
waters of Babylon ; he diverts and separates our affections that he might 
pass over (r). As nurses, they hurt themselves and the children too when 
they keep over many ; so do men Imrt themselves with over much business. 
The Lord hath not made us all for the world, but hath reserved one day 
in seven for his service. For shame let us shew we have some respect of 
religion and goodness ; seeing God requires but one in seven, let us not be 
so unjust as to deny him his service on that day. 

Use. Well, let those that profess themselves of another world, by all 
means pursue it. In nature every thing tends to his centre and place ; 
heavy things go downward, light things ascend upward. In handicrafts 
and arts every one looks after excellency. Shall it be thus with them ? 
Shall mediocrity in other arts merit dispraise, and is it only praiseworthy 
in religion ? The wicked they labour for hell, venturing loss of credit, 
strength, and estate ; and is there not better gain in goodness ? Have we 
such rich promises, and do we esteem of them no more ? Are not the 
afflictions we shall meet with many and great, and do we think to undergo 
them with ordinary gi-ace, gotten without labour and watchfulness ? But 
let us go on to the next words : 

* That I may apprehend.' Whence we may observe, that the main scope 
of a Christian is to apprehend Christ: here by revelation, that we may appre- 
hend him hereafter by vision. Many there are that may follow good things 
and use good means, yet wanting these apprehending graces of faith and 
love (which makes us have communion with Christ), they perish notwith- 
standing. Human knowledge is commendable, yet is it no other than as a 
scaffold in this building. It helps, but the building once done, it is for 
little use. Apprehend we, therefore, him by knowledge of his truth, rely 
on him by faith, and embrace him by love ; and then if we be chased by him, 
we maj, as Joab, lay hold on the horns of the altar Christ Jesus, and there 
live and die, 1 Kings i. 50. And as we have daily breaches, even so get 
more and more hold on him, and this will make us desire with Simeon, 
* Lord, let me now depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation,' 
Luke ii. 29. Let us, therefore, daily learn to see our own foulness, and go 
to him the rock of our refuge. 

Obj. Oh, but some will say, Christ is in heaven, and we on earth, we can- 
not go to him when we please. 

Ans. I answer. Yes ; for the arms of faith are large. It takes hold of 
things past and to come. No height is out of the reach thereof. And, 
besides, Christ he is present with us. He is in his word, in the sacra- 
ments, in the communion of saints. ' Where two or three are gathered 
together in my name, I wall be in the midst of them,' Mat. xviii. 20. It 
is his own promise. 

' For which I am apprehended of Christ.' Christ he apprehends us, and 
that in several degrees. 

First, As he is God. In his eternal love we had a being before we had 
any being here. God conceived us in his eternal afi'ection, and embraced 
us. Secondly, Christ apprehends us in his effectual calling of us. Paul he 


wag posting another way wlien Christ called him, ' Saul, Saul.' Others he 
calls from their mother's womb ; some by afflictions and powerful crosses, 
as he did the jailor ; others by more gentle means, as Lydia. Thirdly, 
There is an apprehending in all our actions, courses, and estates, directing us 
continually in them, never leaving us. None can pluck us out of his hands. 
He is stronger than our corruptions. He will not let us go till he hath drawn 
us up to heaven, and placed us with himself. For the use of this doctrine 
more shall be said in the next doctrine, which is taken from the order. 

Doct. Christ he first apprehends us when loe apprehend him. He appre- 
hends us that we may apprehend him, and because he hath apprehended 
us, therefore is it that we apprehend him. For ' in him it is that we live, 
and move, and have our being,' Acts xvii. 28 ; and therefore much more 
our best being. He it is that gives us the will and the deed ; to us it is 
given by him to believe and suffer with him. 

Use 1. For use hereof it would teach us in all our actions to beg ahility 
and strength of him, and get a persuasion that his Spirit doth apprehend 
us in love ; and that he will direct us and remove all impediments, and 
stand by us in all our crosses, that we are able to do nothing but by reflec- 
tion from him ; that though we are naturally dead and dull, yet he will 
quicken us by shining on our hearts with the sunshine of his grace. 

Use 2. Secondly, Give him the praise of all the good thou doest, for the 
deed is his. Those that do not, do apprehend and are apprehended of 
themselves ; and therefore it may serve as a mark to discern of our estate, 
whither do we run ? and what do we apprehend in our trouble ? Is it 
Christ who is our present help in time of trouble ? Then there is a blessed 
change in us. But do we seek to our own devices, to our own policies and 
inventions ? Surely we have not apprehended Christ as we ought to do ; 
and therefore we are to stir up the graces in us, and beg increase of grace 
from him that is the fountain of all grace. 

Use 3. In the next place, it should comfort us, hy the consideration of tlie 
certainty of our estate, without falling away, if toe hold fast unto the end. 
If it were ourselves that did apprehend us we could not long continue, but 
it being Christ that holdeth us, our comfort is he will not forsake us. It 
is the mother that holds the child. The child cannot lay hold on the 
mother, but is subject to falling every hour. Christ he holding us, hath 
promised to love us to the end, and to put his fear in our hearts, that we 
shall not fall or depart from him. This being daily considered will greatly 
comfort a weak Christian. Christ may seem to let him fall, by suffering 
him to fall into some great sin, but it is only to humble him, and to teach 
him not to trust to his own strength, which will soon fail him, but upon 
his mercy and grace. And therefore. 

Use 4. In the next place, it teacheth us to hold fast unto him, and rely 
on him, and to pray to him that he would hold us fast, and then we fall not 
from God, but to God. He hath delivered us, and will deliver us and keep 
us to his heavenly kingdom. If we fall into sin, let us repent and go to 
God. There is mercy in Israel concerning this, and with him is plenteous 
redemption. His right hand is under us ever to hold us up, that we can- 
not fall so deeply but he will lift us up again. 

Use 5. In the next place, this may he a comfort to us in all our troubles 
and afflictions of this life. Are troubles near ? God is not far off, Ps. 
xxii. 11, seq., and Ps. cxviii. 5, seq., but full of comforts for such. We have 
an invisible wall about us, the wall of angels ; and God fights for us. There 
is more with us than against us. God will not suffer us to be tried above 

PniLIPPIANS CHAP, m, VEK. 13. 105 

that we are able to bear. Let us' therefore pray, Forsake me not, Lord, lest 
I forsake thee. If we pray to him he will be found of us. Paul prayed 
for this. Christ also, that knew he was apprehended, yet prayed all night ; 
and this are we to do ; he hath promised to hear us. And therefore let us 
go in faith and assurance to him, in all our troubles. 

VERSE 13. 
Brethren, I count not myself to have apinehended. 

The holy apostle dwells upon the point, that he might press it the more ; 
and it is good to press matter of weight. The apostle shewing that conceit 
of perfection to be dangerous, again tells the Philippians, that he had not 
that which they boasted of. This pride of ourselves, and conceit, is a sin that 
climbs up to heaven, and enters on God's prerogative, and a sin that God 
doth directly set himself against. Of this compellation, ' brethren,' I have 
formerly spoken. 

I might also touch that doctrine, that the kingdom of heaven is not per- 
fected in ns here, but that it grows by degrees. It is at the first as a grain 
of mustard seed. There are babes in Christianity, and old men grown 
Christians. And the ground hereof may be partly in the subject, partly 
in the object. 

In regard of the subject, for that graces are imperfect in us, the more 
the soul hath, the more it desires. 

In regard of the object, for that Christ is so full, that we are not able to 
receive all his fulness, so as there is imperfection in us, and superabundant 
perfection in him. Paul had a large aflection, yet came far short. This 
possibility of the soul to receive more will be in us, till we be in heaven, 
where we shall be full ; and therefore while we are here, we pray still, ' Thy 
will be done on earth as it is in heaven,' and ' Thy kingdom come,' 
more and more. It is a strange conceit, therefore, for any to think he 
may be too good ; yet do these daily, or should do, pray for more and more 
perfection here on earth, although they say they know not what. And 
another reason why we apprehend Christ not so fully here as we shall do 
hereafter, is, because the manner of making Christ known to us is by reve- 
lation, 1 Cor. xiii. 12, seq. We behold him here but as it were in a glass ; 
in the glass of his word and sacraments, which cannot represent him to 
our understanding so clearly, as hereafter we shall behold him in the beati- 
fical vision. 

Take heed therefore of a self-conceit of perfection. When we begin to be 
unwilling to grow better, we begin to wax worse. There is no stay in 
Christianity. It is the sight of our imperfection that makes us strive to 
perfection, and the more we see into our misery, the more earnestly we 
strive on to be freed fifom it. 

But this one thing I do, forgetting tJwse things which are behind, and reaching 
forth to those things that are before. 

See what is the apostle's unum neccssarium, to grow more and more to 
the fulness of the knowledge of Christ. All other things he counts as ' dung 
and loss.' So as we may hence observe, that the Spirit of God in a Chris- 
tian heart, subjects all things to one Christ. 

' One thing have I desired of the Lord,' said David, Ps. xxvii. 4 ; make 
this therefore a rule to difference our estates by. What is the thing we 
intend chiefly ? Is it riches, or pleasui-es, or honours ? This one thing 


will be the utter overthrow of all religion in us. Christ will be supreme, 
or he will not be. * He that loves father or mother more than me, is not 
worthy of me,' saith Christ of himself. Mat. x. 37. There is none so wicked 
but would be religious, till religion comes to cross that one thing, their 
darling sin. And thus have they base limitations, which must needs pre- 
judice their growth in religion ; for where religion is, it will cross their base 
affections and lusts. 

Therefore, whosoever we are that intend to be true Christians indeed, 
resolve first to prefer the peace of conscience and the fruit of religion above 
all ; and resolve to abhor all things that will cross this one thing of St Paul. 

VERSE 14. 

I press towards the marJc. 

Behold an excellent description of a Christian course, borrowed from the 
exercise of running a race, being a manlike and commendable exercise, 
fitting men and enabling them for war. The very heathen herein condemns 
us, w^hose ordinarj^ chief exercises, what are they but good company, as we 
call them, continual l^'ing at taverns, to the impoverishing of our estates 
and weakening our bodies ? The kind I condemn not, but the excess is 
such, as the heathen would be ashamed of; for which they shall even rise 
up in judgment against us, and condemn us. 

Bnt from the simile, we may gather thus much, that Christianity is a 
race. The beginning of this race is at the beginning of our conversion. It 
should begin at our baptism. The first thing we should know ought to be 
God. The race is the performance of good duties, concerning our general 
calling, and concerning our particular. For the length of our races, some 
are longer, some shorter, but the end of every man's race is the end of his 
life. Some men's ways are plainer, some rougher. The prize is fulness 
of joy. The lookers on are heaven, earth, and hell. God is the instituter 
of this race, and the rewarder. The helpers are Christ, good angels, and 
the church, which helps by prayer. The hinderers are the devil and his 
instruments, who hinder us by slanders, persecutions, and the like. For 
ground of this race in us, we are to know that man is created with under- 
standing, directing him to do things to a good end and scope. Other 
creatures are carried to their end, as the shaft out of a bow, only man 
foreseeing his end, apprehends means thereto. His end is to receive 
reconciliation and union with God, to which he aims by doing some things, 
suffering others, and resisting others. 

And this race is also ordered by laws ; for every runner is not crowned. 
There is a running ill that shall never procure the prize. The laws hereof 
concern either preparation, or the action itself. For preparation, 

1st Direct. First we are to know, that there is a dieting requisite. As 
those that ran in a race had a care hereof, to use such diet as did 
strengthen, not cloy, and such apparel as might cover them, not clog them ; 
so ought it to be in our spiritual race, we must cast aside all heavy loads, 
every weight and sin which doth so easily beset us, as it is Heb. xii. 1. 
If God cast on us any place or riches, let us use them for a good end, but 
not make them our end ; and therefore with them take up daily examina- 
tion of ourselves, how w'e behave ourselves towards these worldly things. 
It were a madness in a runner, in his race, to take up a burden, and not 
to think it will be a sore trouble to him ; and why do we not think thus in 
our spiritual race ? Cast we off therefore original corruption, and the 

PELLirPIANS cnAP. Ill, VER. 14. 107 

corruption of our place, time, and calling, -which in time will gi'ow unsup- 
portiable to us. Let us desire no more than God gives ; and \Yhat afflictions 
God sends us, let us take, assuring ourselves they are for our good. 

2(? Direct. A second law is, to consider the ivays that ive are io r^m in, 
what dangers we are like to meet with. Forecast and resolve against the 
worst, and withal promise we ourselves God's assured protection in our 
worst estate. The want of this is the seminary and ground of all apostasy ; 
when men promise to themselves in Christianity such things as God never 
promised. Christ therefore promiseth and shcweth the worst first. But 
the devil, to deceive us, keeps the worst out of our eyes, and shews a sort 
of vain delights and pleasures. But the sting of them, through his subtilty 
and craft, he suffers us to feel before we see it. 

3c? Direct. A third law is, that ive enter the race betimes. It is the 
devil's trick to put ofi' the care of this, telling us we need not yet enter ; we 
are but young, and have many years to live, as they did that hindered the 
building of the temple. But consider we the inicertainty of life, that we 
may die suddenly, and that it is just with God to take us away after that 
manner, if we neglect ourselves and him. And we must know also we shall 
lose no pleasure nor delight, but we shall find such sweet delights in those 
ways as we shall with St Augustine be grieved that we enjoyed them no 
sooner.* And besides, those that begin betimes get a great advantage of 
others, and through continual custom come at length to a habit of religion. 

In the next place, we are to take heed of hindrances of us in our pre- 
paration ; as, 

1st Hindrance. First of all, hope of long life, whereby we are besotted, 
thinking life and death is in our command, that we shall have time enough, 
and need not so soon enter upon good duties. 

2d Hindrance. Secondly, A conceit that when we have once given vp our 
names to Christ, that presently tve hid adieu to all delight, mirth, and plea- 
sure ; when, alas ! we are far deceived. God denies not pleasure to us, 
but will give us whatsoever is good for us. We shall delight and rejoice, 
but with a joy spiritual ; and we shall see nothing in this world that may 
any way deserve our delight therein. 

3cZ Hindrance. A third hindrance is a despair of ever going through this 
race. This settles upon some, strangely making them cast away all care, 
and desperately trust to Christ's mercy. This made Cyprian to complain 
of his corruptions, saying they were bred and brought up with him ; and 
therefore feared they would hardly give place to grace, being but a stranger (s). 
While men consider how great and powerful their corruption is, they with 
the Israelites despair of ever entering into the land of Canaan — these sons 
of Anak do so terrify them. 

But consider we withal that God is above all our corruptions ; that he 
can make of a lion a lamb ; and that if we will trust upon him, in his time 
he will help us, and we shall overcome these giant-like corruptions. Christ 
he hath conquered them already ; and though while we live we cannot 
wholly overcome them, yet David's house shall grow stronger and stronger, 
and Saul's house weaker, 2 Sam. iii. 1. We shall have grace sufficient for 
us. God will sweeten religion to us, that we shall delight therein ; and 
Christ will not lead us into temptation till he hath fitted us to it by his 
grace, and then we shall rejoice, as the apostles did. Acts v. 41, that we 
are accounted worthy to suffer. 

* The reference is to Augustine's pathetic plaint, elsewhere quoted by Sibbes, 
' Too long, Lord, have I wanted thy goodness.' — G. 



Contrary to this humour, some think it so easy a matter to run this 
race, as they think they cannot be out of it or tired therein, whenas indeed 
they never yet set foot therein. Let such look to themselves if they be in 
this race, they shall find it no easy matter. 

But thus much concerning rules or laws for preparation to this race. 
Now there are laws to be observed of those that are in the race ; as. 

Direct. 1. First, They must resolve to hold on, without discontinuance of 
their course of good duties ; for some, by omitting good duties now and 
then upon slight occasions, do come, through God's just sufferance, to leave 
them off and never take them up again ; and thereby, while they are not 
getting ground by continuing their course, they do lose thereby. Even as 
watermen rowing against the stream, if they do not row, but rest never so little, 
the stream carries them back again, and they cannot recover themselves but 
with great difficulty ; so it is in this Christian race. A little interruption 
of duty causes thrice so much pains to recover our former estate. There- 
fore we are to take up a holy resolution not to be interrupted in good duties. 

2. The next law is, that ice must look to gain ground still, to grow from 
grace to grace. It is the apostle's aim still to grow better than himself. 
Contrary to this many forsake their first love. They think themselves wise, 
but are fools, such as the Lord will spew out of his mouth, as he threatens 
the Church of Laodicea, Rev. iii. 16. And indeed the most men at the 
best are but civil ; and do but provide for their own ease, and can endure 
any mixture of religion or company ; and the ground of this coldness is a 
self-conceit, whereby men think well of themselves and their estate. Paul, 
he was of another spirit, ever pressing forward. 

3. A third law is, that v:e do things ivith all our might ; that we run this 
race with all our earnest endeavour. There is no bodily exercise that pro- 
fiteth, but it must be with putting forth of our strength. So our Christian 
actions should shew even outwardly, that we do things as if we intended 
thereby to honour God indeed ; and to this end we are to depend on God 
by prayer, that he would give us strength and minds to put forth our 
strength for gaining most honour to his Majesty, and this will bring great 
assurance and comfort to us in time of need. 

4. A fourth rule is, that we are to run this race with'a checrftd and speedy 
course. A dead performance of duties is no part of our race. Yea, as 
many go to hell by ill performance of good duties, as by committing sins 
that are scandalously evil ; for this resting in the work clone is the cause of 
hardness of heart, and thereby of despair ; and at the best never brings 
any sound comfort at all to us. And therefore we are enjoined to do good 
duties, and to do them in a good manner. * Let a man examine himself, 
and so let him eat of this bread, and drink of this cup,' 1 Cor. xi. 28; and 
* so run that you may obtain,' 1 Cor. ix. 24. It is no lingering. We 
know not how long we shall live, how soon we shall die ; and therefore let 
us make haste to do our work before God takes away time from us, by 
taking us out of the world. And those especially are to look to this, that 
have lived long in their own courses, and are but lately reclaimed. They are 
much behind, and had need make haste. The journey is long, their time 
but short. And to this end look we not what we have done, and how far 
we have gone, but look what remains to be done, and know we have done 
nothing till we have done all. 

Quest. But it will be asked, What ! may we not think of duties that are 
past ? 

Jns. I answer, We may think of them by way of defence, and to give 


God the glory, and calso to encourage us on, but not to rest or solace our- 
selves on them till we have done all. 

Qttest. But men may say, What, is there no pause ? is there no Sabbath ? 

Ans. I ansv?er. Yes, when we are dead. ' Blessed are the dead in the 
Lord,' Rev. xiv, 13. It is they that rest from their lahours. Heaven is a 
sufficient reward for all the pains we can any way take here. Besides, the 
comforts that we have here are many, which none knows but them that 
enjoy them. And God hath promised the continual assistance of his 
blessed Spirit, that shall encourage us and lead us into all truth. Alas ! 
what comfort have we of all that we have done, if we continue not, 
but sit down and take up our rests here ? What good got they that 
came out of Egypt and di-ed in the wilderness, it may be even in the 
border of the laud of promise, yet never saw it ? It will assuredly fall out 
with us as it did with them, it" we harbour any infidelity in our hearts. We 
shall be cast out, that we shall never see this good land, the spiritual Canaan. 

In the next place, take we heed of such hindrances as may make us 
either slack or intermit this race of ours. 

1. As first. We must take heed of idle scruples and temptations. These 
are no other than as dust cast in the eyes of the runners, and as stones 
that gall their feet. Interpret them to be the subtleties of the devil, 
and therefore shake them ofi", and intend-''^ thy duty thou art about, and pray 
for wisdom to discern ai'ight of things. Regard not the golden apples of 
the profits and pleasures of this life, that lie in thy way to divert thy steps, f 
and sweep off evermore the dirt of these worldly cares, which we gather in 
our race, and by little and little grow to clog us, 

2. In the second place, Beware of sins against conscience. They take 
away joy, and make our hearts dead. There are many that seeing divers 
of their sins before them, concerning which they find no peace in them- 
selves, are soon out of breath, and quite out of heart, and so by little and 
little run into despair, and without hope ever to attain the prize. 

3. Thirdly, Take we heed of ill and dull company, that are cold in religion, 
that cannot away with good religious duties. For as it is in our ordinary 
travels, good company makes time and way pass away speedily and with 
comfort ; so it is in this race, good and gracious companj'- by exhortation 
and example do wonderfully encourage us ; and ill company contrarily do 
dishearten us, dissuade us and clog us, and draw us back from every good 
duty we take in hand. But many men's conceits are, they need not all this 
ado ; they are well enough, though they be not thus holy ; all cannot come 
to the high pitch of mortification. Surel}'' there is hardly any beginning of 
grace in such who allow themselves in a dead course ; for where the love 
of God is, it will constrain men to shew their thankful and loving hearts to 
him, in walking before the Lord with all their might. 

4. In the fourth place, Tahe heed how xce suffer our minds to wander in 
this race. Let us not look at the lookers on. The world and the devil 
and wicked men, 'pass not for their censures. We may assure our- 
selves before we enter this race we shall have no applause from them. 
Let a slow dull] jade come by, like dogs, they let him pass, none 
regards ; but if another comes by apace, every man runs barking and 
slandering and backbiting after him ; and if they can they will bite 

* That is, = attend, be earnest in. — G. 

t The allusion is to the legend of Atalanta, who being set to run in a race with 
her suitors, threw golden apples on the course, which they stopping to'pick up, were 
coiicjuered. — G. 


too. Sliall a man care for sucli as these ? No. We must resolve 
beforehand to have the world, the devil, and all the enemies he can make 
to be against us. Let us, therefore, set our eyes only on him that has our 
reward in his hand, that observes us and is ready to crown us ; and let us 
beg courage and strength from him, and spiritual wisdom how we should 
perform every action ; with what intention or remission of heart and affec- 
tion ; how to sanctify his name in the performance of the duties of our 
callings ; how to make every action, yea, our recreations, a furtherance in 
this our Christian race. 

Secondl}^, Let us daily search and try our hearts and ivays. See how we 
profit or go back, how we grow like or unlike Christ ; particularly, examine 
we how the pomp of the world seems to us, whether base or contemptible ? 
If so, then the further we are run in this Christian race. For as in objects 
of sight, the further we are from them the less they seem to us, and the 
nearer we are to them they appear the greater, so it is in the object of our 
minds. Doth heaven appear full and beautiful to us ? It is a sign we are 
near to it, and w^e are come a good way in our race. But contrarily, if it 
be mean and of no esteem or account, it is far from us ; we arc at the most 
but coming towards it. 

Secondly, Examine what doth take up daily the powers of our soids and 
affections. Do we delight in the best things, and with Mary choose ' the 
better part,' which shall not be taken away from us ? Luke x. 42. Or 
contrarily, are our delights here below, and our rest set up here ? Then 
we have our reward here, and the prize is not prepared for us, but God will 
spew us out for our coldness. And, therefore, if we find coldness creeping 
on us, let us take heed of it. It is a dangerous estate. God cannot endure 
it. For while we allow of good things, but shew not intension of spirit in 
the performance of them, we do even judge them, and tell the world they 
be things not worthy of our pains and endeavours. Let us, therefore, not 
allow of this coldness, though it be in us, but strive against it. Meditate 
of such things as may inflame us, and pray against it. 

For the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

' I press forth.' It is a word of vehemency, signifying to set forth his 
utmost bent and endeavour, both of the inward man and of the outward [t] ; 
and all is to heaven. So as a Christian's aim is always to Jerusalem, his 
looks is that way ; his tongue speaks the language thereof ; his carriage will 
tell he seeks another city, Heb. xi. 14. But for these words, observe there 
is first a ' prize.' Secondly, ' it is a prize of a caUing.' Thirdly, this 
calling is ' high.' Fourthly, this calhug we have here in part. 

Concerning this word ' prize,' it is a metaphor taken from the reward of 
victory gotten in some exercise. God hereby hrings heaven doivn to us. 
Because we cannot go to it, he insinuates into our aflections by pleasing 
things, and teaches faith by sense. 

Use 1. And therefore, we must not rest in these borrowed words, but ever 
know that the thing that is described goes beyond the description by any 
earthly similitude. 

Doct. From the thing observe that God hath reserved a happy estate for 
such Christians as are elected to run in this race, that are fitted to it, and 
that are preserved to it. 

Use 2. And this should teach us to magnify God's goodness ; that whereas 
by nature death with his pale horse and hell should follow us, now the course 
is altered. A holy life in God's commandments is given to us here, and 


then glory shall be heaped upon us. God hath begotten us to a lively hope, 
but hath passed by the angels, and left them without hope of recovery. 

Dod. Secondly, observe this happy jsrzze is to he given after running. 
God keeps this order to exercise his graces in us, that we might be a means 
to gain others, and that we might value happiness the more. If we did not 
suffer here, we could not taste heaven so sweetly ; after labour sleep and 
rest is sweet. And it is fitting that we should be followers of Christ, to fill 
up the measure of his sufferings. He did first run, and then was crowned. 
And this order we must keep if we mean ever to be with him. 

Use. And let us be comforted herein, though the race he long and painful, 
yet there is an end. It will not continue for ever, and with the end there 
comes a prize. The world runs in a mass here and there ; they have their 
reward, and their happiness will end soon ; but a Christian's happiness will 
never end. 

Doct. In the next place observe, that it is expedient and usefid to have an 
eye to this prize. It made Paul, and it Avill make us run cheerfully ; and 
God tells us of it, to the end we may fix the eyes of our minds upon it, 
Col. iii. 23. Whatsoever we do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, knowing of 
the Lord we shall receive the reward of the inheritance. 

Quest. But some may say, If it be an inheritance to us, how is it then 
propounded as a prize to us ? 

Ans. I answer, It is both a reward and an inheritance. It is an inheri- 
tance because it is given to adopted sons. It is a reward after labour, 
not /or labour ; so as running is the way to a crown, not the cause of it. 

Quest. But the papists say, we have it by faith. Why then is it a prize 
or reward ? Why or how can it be a prize or reward, and yet ours by 

Ajis. I answer, Encouragement and this prize are not given to works, as 
works, but as works by faith ; for by it we run and overcome all trials and 
troubles. Keward is due to perseverance, but perseverance cannot be 
without faith. 

But for the matter'in hand, I say it is expedient to look to the prize, that 
we be not carried away with temptations on the right hand or on the left ; 
and therefore let us not look on them. Moses's eye was so fixed on this 
prize, as he set light by all the pleasures of his life, Heb. xi. 25, 26. The 
eye of faith in a Christian is stronger than that of sense, yet let us take 
these cautions : First, that we know ourselves sons, and that we come to 
this prize by inheritance. And secondly, that we love not God so much for 
his goodness to us, as for that goodness which is in him. For a Christian 
aims fu'st at God's glory, then at his own good. And so he loves God for 
being goodness itself, then for being good to him. And yet a Christian in 
order comes first to see God's goodness to him, and therefore loves 
him ; and then he arises higher to the love of God, even for that he is good- 
ness, and henceforth admires and adores his fulness, for else to love God 
because God loves us is mercenary. 

Use 1. We are therefore to think of this happy estate; and as children, 
though at first we know not what belongs to inheritances and rewards, yet 
the elder we grow in Christianity, the more let us search into these things, 
and see what is laid up for us. It is an invaluable prize that will free us 
from all evil, of company, of enemies, of Satan's annoyances, of hindrances, 
of sin, from all occasions without us and inclinations within us, from sick- 
ness of body and troubles of mind. It is a Sabbath after six days' work. 
It is beyond all earthly crowns, The runners here envy not one another, 


nay, they help and further one another, and are glad of one another's for- 
wardness. All are heirs, all happy, all shall be crowned, and with an incor- 
ruptible crown, an inheritance that fadeth not, but is undefiled ; and such 
an one as is kept for us, 1 Pet. i 4. It is not like the crowns of leaves that 
soon fade. No. We shall ever be in the presence of the Son* of righteous- 
ness, where we shall have a continual spring. 

Use 2. But to proceed in the next place : This is a prize of caJling. We 
must be called to it. Who can take a calling on him, unless God calls him ? 
And who can be enabled but those that he enables ? This calling of his is 
the beginning of his golden chain of salvation. He calls us from a cursed 
estate to a happy communion ; from death and bondage under the devil, 
to be kings and princes. And this is done by outward means, and inward 
work of the Spirit. This calling is a powerful calling, enabling them to 
come that are called. 

And hereby we may try whether we have any title to heaven or not. 

Sign 1. For, first, if we be effectually called, it snpposeth v:e are chosen, 
called, and singled out from others of the ivorld ; and therefore all swearers, 
and those that are given to drunkenness and profaneness, they are not 
called nor singled ; they remain as they were. For this singling out is the 
first part of the execution of God's decree of election. And whom God 
calls, he qualifies. Princes they may call men to places, but they cannot 
qualify them. But God, when he calls Saul to be a king, he gives him a 
king's heart ; so if we be called to this heavenly kingdom, we shall have holy 
and kingly hearts and minds given us. 

Sign 2. Secondly, Men's tongues tvill shew what calling they are of in 
their discourse. A Christian will remember he is a Christian, and will walk 
worthy of his calling ; and with Nehemiah he will reason, ' Shall such a man 
as I do thus ?' Neh. vi. 11 ; speak thus? think such vile sinful thoughts ? 
And those that are not of this carriage shew no great religion in them. 
And just it is with God to give such over to a great measure in sin. 

Sign 3. Thirdly, This calling is to glory ; and therefore he that is called, 
he will think of heaven, and magnify and admire God's goodness to him. 
What thing is man, Lord, that thou shouldst be mindful of him ? and there- 
fore those that admire the pomp and glory of this world, it is a sign their 
calling is worldly, and that they are called by the world. 

Sign 4, Fourthly, If a man be called by God, he shall find a sjyiritual 
ansioering within himself to God's call. If God say, ' Thou art my son,' the 
heart answereth, ' Thou art my God.' ' Behold I come quickly,' saith 
Christ ; ' Even so come. Lord Jesus,' saith the Christian heart. And there- 
fore a rebellious disposition shews that God's Spirit is not there. 

Thirdl}^ This calling of ours is a high calling. It is from heaven to 
heaven. It is from a heavenly spirit, by spiritual means, to Christ in 
heaven, to saints, to spiritual employments and privileges. 

Use 1. Hence, therefore, we may learn who are the greatest men. Sen- 
sual men think those in outward place the greatest men of all other. Alas ! 
they are nothing to a prince of heaven. He is a spouse to Christ ; shall 
judge all the world, and triumph over Satan. All other callings end in the 
dust with our bodies. Kings shall rise as peasants, and it may be in a 
worse estate than many of the meanest. There is no difi'erence in death. 
All other callings are by men, from men to men, to earthly purposes. Let 
us make, therefore, a difference, and know whence our calling is, that we 
may be thankful ; and whither it is, that we may be joyful. 

* Qu. ' Sun ' ?— Ed. 


_ Use 2. We may also, in the next place, hence gather, wlio are of the 
highest spirits. It is a Christian, and only he. He overlooks all these 
base things. His way, his mind, is ever upwards ; and with Paul, he 
thinks all ' dross and dung' that is here. It is the disposition of the 
world to mind high matters. Here in religion are the true aspiring 
thoughts ; as if men will be covetous of honour, here is the right honour, 
and these arc the honourable persons, ' Who honour me, I will honour,' 
eaith God. Only a Christian is partaker of his desire ; other men desire 
high matters. God knows to what end, but they leave them in the dust. 
But when a Christian dies, he is then partaker of his desires in fulness. 

Quest. But it will be questioned, Does a Christian ever know he is 
caUed ? 

Ans. I answer, Sometimes a Christian staggers a Httle, either being not 
an experienced Christian, or through sight of corruptions and temptations. 
But setting these aside, a Christian knows his calling, and will live by his 
rules. ^ For it is not only a calling, but it works a disposition. And, there- 
fore, if we find it not, attend we on the means of the gospel, which is 
called the kingdom of heaven, and it will bring us into a good estate, and 
shew us our estate also, which being once made known to us, we may 
assure ourselves it will remain with us for ever ; which also may be gathered 
fi-om this, that it is a high calling. For nothing can break any one link of 
that chain made by God, and demonstrated in the 8th of the Eomans. 

But to proceed. This is the calling of God ; for by nature we are dead, 
and it can be none but God that revives the dead, God, together with the 
voice of his ministers, sends his quickening Spirit ; giving ears to hear, 
and understandings to understand. 

Again, We are not only dead, hut in thraldom under the devil. It must 
needs be one that is stronger than this strong man, that must dispossess 
us of him. This calling is God's calling in Christ, and that is first as our 
head. God looks on us as we are in him ; and he elects us as in Christ. 
For from eternity he appointed so many to be members of Christ, as he 
meant to save. We are called and justified in Christ. Ho must be ours 
before his obedience be ours. We are sanctified in Christ. We must be 
in him as branches in the vine, partaking in the quickening ;sap and juice 
of his grace ; and when we are glorified, we must be glorified as being of 
his members. Then we are called by Christ, who is the author of this holy 
calling ; and, lastly, we are called through Christ as our mediator. And 
thus chiefly is it meant here, not through works, as the papists will have 
it. No. Christ is the author and finisher of our faith, Heb. xii, 2. In 
him are we crowned, as the body is said to be crowned when the head 
is. Let us therefore cherish this communion with Christ by all means, 
for thereby we shall communicate with him of his fulness. 

VEESE 15. 

Let us therefore, as many as he 'perfect, he thus minded. 

St Paul he proceeds to others. If any of you be perfect as I am, be 
you also thus minded as I am. Perfection in this place is not meant of 
that perfection we shall have hereafter, or should have now, or legal per- 
fection ; but he is said to be perfect, that is, in his growing estate, increas- 
ing more in grace, righteousness, and sincerity ; or it may be meant of 
perfection in regard of degrees, comparatively, whereby one out-ftoeg 
another that is but a novice in religion. Such are those that can rule 

VOL. V. H 


their affections, and can live in a settled course of holiness, called in Heb. 
V. 14 men of * full age.' For there are children in religion, new entered 
into Christ's school. Then those that are come to ' full age ' surely are 
exercised to discern good and evil. And then those that are come to their 
full pitch in heaven, between whom and the former there is no more com- 
parison than is between the sun and a star for light. So as in regard of 
the saints in heaven, the best here are imperfect ; yet in regard of the 
beginners, they^may be said to be perfect. However, we may safely 
gather this, 

Doct. TJiat in Christianity there are degrees of holiness; divers grounds, 
some bring thirty fold, some sixty. 

Let this comfort those that discomfort themselves in regard of their 
imperfections. Grace must be at the first as a grain of mustard seed, and 
therefore let such with patience attend the means, and trust God for the 

Doct. Secondly, We may observe, that there is a kind of perfection attain- 
alJe in this life, which we ought to strive to. The reason is, that in all 
things God hath ordained a set pitch, beyond which they cannot come, 
and to which they all tend ; and as it is in nature, so in grace. Though 
he hath appointed to every one his several portion and measure of grace 
here, yet a pitch he also hath set to all, which we are to aim at, to grow 
better still, though in this life we cannot attain to it ; and the reason is, 
because we know not how God will exercise us. He doth exercise all his 
children, but some with greater trials than others. Besides, we have a 
perfect God and a perfect word, that is able to make the man of God 
perfect to every good work. And these are not given to us for nought ; and 
therefore it is a shame for a Christian to sit down at any degree upon pre- 
tence of imperfection. We see plants in nature desire growth, that they 
may be able to stand in and withstand storms. And where this spiritual 
nature is, and this new creature, there will be endeavour to increase in 
strength, to undergo and overcome all temptations and hindrances what- 

And to know whether we have this perfection or not. 

1st Sign. There ivill ever he a base esteem of these oidicard earthly p>'>'ivi- 
leges and honours ; nay, of the good endowments of our minds, counting 
them loss in comparison of Christ ; and this will work a sure settled hope 
in Christ evermore. 

2d Sign. Again, TJiere loill he a perfection of holiness; a neglect of things 
past, and an earnest endeavour to things before, ' to press to the prize.' 

od Sign. Thirdly, A perfect Christian desires the coming of Christ; but 
the weak one ever cries, ' Let me, Lord, recover myself before I go from 
hence.' He has not that assurance of his good estate that a well-grown 
Christian hath. 

4ith Sign. Fourthly, A perfect Christian /mf/i sweet communion with Christ, 
and can go to God vnth holdness, without fear of judgment or terror of his 
presence. 'WTiereas the weakest are driven to God by fear, others by 
hope, this man comes to God, being moved by a sweet disposition of love. 

5ih Sign. Fifthly, A strong Christian is not moved ivith any change either 
of prosperity or adversity. Weak brains are soon overturned with strong 
waters, so weak Christians are soon drunken with prosperity. But a 
strong Christian, in any prosperity, is pliable and fit for anything. David 
in the midst of all his royalty saw a greater blessedness than honour and 
riches : ' Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not sin, and in 


whose lips is no guile,' Ps. xxxii. 2. In adversity also a sound Christian 
will not shrink, knowing God cannot be changed, though his estate may 
alter ; and therefore he ' can want as well as abound,' growing stronger in 
patience as in other Christian graces. But it is contrary with the weak 
Christian, for every cross strikes at his heart, and at the foundation of his 
faith, making him presently doubt of God's love and favour to him. 

Gth Si;/)i. Sixthly, A (jroivii Christian he is e.rpcrienced to fi)id out Satan's 
devices and plots, and can put a difference between the motions of the flesh 
and the spirit, and therefore knows what corruption to weaken and what 
grace to strengthen ; whenas a new beginner, for want of practice and 
experience, sees not these things ; and therefore, ere he is aware, runs into 
many ofiences, and looks for no remedy. 

7th Sign. Seventhly, A ijcell-grounded Christian can withstand the hitter 
blasts and oppositions of this world ; nothing could move Paul, nor separate 
him from the love of God ; but a weak Christian either is blown away, or 
at least shaken, with every blast ; as it is in young trees newly planted. 

8//i- Sifin. Eighthly, A grounded Christian hears u-itJt the infirmities he 
sees in others. He pities them, and helps them if he can ; but judges not 
of them as those that are weak, who for the most part are captious. 
' You that are spiritual must restore,' saith the apostle, ' those that are 
weak, with the spirit of meekness,' Gal. vi. 1. So as it is the weak ones 
that are scandalised, and as they are soon offended, so do they soon give 
occasion of ofience to others by their ill example. But the grown Chris- 
tian endeavours to live free from offence ; in the least things he is watchful 
against Satan's wiles. 

9//(- Sign. Ninthly, A perfect man doth most of cdl others see into his p)nr- 
ticular wants, and looks hence after a further degi'ee of grace ; and there- 
fore the apostle bids such as are perfect to forget things past, not to look 
on those that are before,* but to see what is yet before to be attained unto, 
and to press forward thereunto. 

10th Sign. Tenthly, A strong Christian is of ability and endeavour still to 
beget other Christians. It is the property of a grown creature to beget its 
like. A weak Christian hath enough to do to look to himself. 

There may be many more signs named, but these will suffice. Let 
us come to the means whereby we may grow to this strength and per- 

1. And first of all, we must hnoir there must he an order. We are to 
grow in fundamental graces in the first place ; for we water not the leaves, 
but the root, of our plants ; and the graces that are the foundation of all 
works being gotten and diligently cherished, the works, which arc but as 
leaves, will soon put forth. The main fundamental grace of all is faith, 
which we are principally to look after. 

First, III getting assurance of our salvation. To this end walk holily. 
For many live in sins against conscience, and so can have no assurance of 
the pardon of their sins ; and how dead and blockish are they ! David, 
though a man after God's own heart, yet losing the comfortable assurance 
(by his sinning against conscience) of the pardon of sin, thought God's 
Hol}^ Spirit had quite forsaken him ; therefore he prays, ' Take not thy 
Holy Spirit from me,' Ps. li. 11. Therefore labour for assurance of pardon 
of sin ; for where the soul is wounded with the guilt of sin, it cannot enlarge 
itself in love, but is possessed with a fearful expectation of judgment. But 
when the soul is assured of the pardon of its sins, it breeds love to Christ ; 
» Qu. ' behind ' ?— Ed. 


and there it is said of Mary,* ' She loved much, for many sins were forgiven 
her,' Luke vii. 47. 

In the next place, we ai-e to labour for faith in the promises of the for- 
giveness of sin, and God's goodness to us ; that ' he will give grace and 
glory, and that we shall want nothing,' Ps. Ixxxiv. 11. This will put courage 
into us. 

And as we are to labour for faith, so also for love ; which is cherished 
by meditation of God's mercies and his love to us ; and this will set us on 
fire in all good works. And so much of this grace as we have in us, with 
so much strength and intension of spirit shall we endeavour to please God 
in all things ; and this argument the apostle used to stir up the Corinthians, 
1 Cor. vii. 1, * Having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all 
filthiness, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.' 

2. In the next place, whatsoever tve do, Jet us lalour to do it with the lest 
advantage, labouring to practise and exercise as much grace, and as many 
as we can ; as in giving, give in zeal to God's honour, in love, in mercy 
towards our brother that is in need, and in regard of justice we owe it to 
him. God hath commanded us to give him, and he will reward it ; for we 
lend to the Lord when we give' to the poor, Prov. xix. 17. If we are to 
abstain from any evil, we are to abstain from it with a perfect hatred thereof, 
and consider how it will ofiend. It will break peace of conscience and dis- 
honour religion, scandalise those that are weak, dishonour God, and bring 
shame to ourselves ; yea, we must remember that the talents that God 
gives us do increase in the use of them. The more we strive to do things 
exactly, the more perfection we shall attain to, in the use of performances. 

3. Thirdly, Let us not ner/Ject little thiiir/s either in good or ill. Omit no 
occasion of doing good, and take heed of the least beginnings of ill ; abstain 
from all occasions and appearance of evil, for though in comparison they 
seem small, they are of great consequence. 

4. Fourthly, We must keep our affections to holy exercises and means ; for 
God works by means. Neglect none, for so much perfection thou losest 
thereby, and consider what means will fit our disposition when we are in- 
disposed. Are we dull in prayer ? Then read. If that will not be endured, 
then use the communion of saints ; and still remember that we be not 
wearied with prayer, for God sends not his away empty. And that these 
things may be the more effectual, observe some motives to stir us up. 

And to this end, consider, 

1. The privilege of a perfect Christian. 'He is as mount Sion, which 
cannot be moved,' Ps. xlvi. 5. If we tell him of death, it is his heart's 
desire. Tell him of afflictions : he is resolute ; he looks for them ; he knows 
he lives God's child, and so he shall die ; when a weak professor fears 
afflictions, fears ill tidings, fears death, and when it comes, seeks for com- 
fort and hardly finds it. 

2. Secondly, A perfect Christian is a beautiful exampile, and makes others 
in love ivith religion. He is thoroughly exercised and practised. The weak- 
ling is scandalous, makes men offended at religion ; soon takes offence, 
soon stumbles, and gets many knocks so as his life is bitter. 

3. Thirdly, The perfect man honours God, and gets him much glory by 
hearing, reading, praying, and such duties. Now as parents love those 
children best that are most like unto them, so those whom the Lord finds 
like unto him, he will make them more near to him in likeness. 

* There does not seem to be sufScient reason for the belief that the woman spoken 
of in this passage was Mary Magdalene. — Ed. 


4. Fourthly, The pcrfecter a man is, the more near commtmion lie hath 
with Christ ; and hath the greater fruit of Christ's love, and findeth peace 
of conscience and joy in the Holy Spirit ; to such as these, Christ hath 
promised to come and sup, and feast and refresh with his graces. For 
even to this end Christ came, to make us holy and pure, that he might 
present us to himself a glorious church, Eph. v. 26, 27 ; and therefore 
that Christ may attain to his end in us, let us endeavour unto perfection. 

5. Fifthly, Our estate hereafter should move us hereunto. We look for ' a 
new heaven and a new earth,' 2 Peter iii. 13, and we desiro to be ever 
with the Lord in that heaven wherein dwelleth righteousness ; and there- 
fore we ought to be diligent that we may be found in him in peace, without 
spot and blameless. It is the apostle Peter's argument, 2 Peter iii. 13, 14 ; 
and therefore ' as many of us as be perfect, let us be thus minded,' that we 
cannot go far enough ; we must strive still on to perfection. 

And if in anything ye he otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this 
unto you. 

St Paul aims at the comfort of those that are weak, implying that every 
Christian stood not in this pitch of disposition with the apostle ; and yet 
they were not to be discouraged. God will reveal the same mind to them 
also in his time. 

1. In which words we may observe, j^rsi, that some Christians see not so 
far as others, neither at some times so tvell as at other times ; but are like the 

man in the gospel ; they see at the first men walk like trees, and after see 
things more plainly. ' The way of the righteous shineth more and more 
unto the perfect day, as the light doth,' saith the wise man. Prov. iv. 18. 
And as the church grew to knowledge by degrees, so do we ; for we first 
know things in general. At the first, Peter knew not that the Gentiles 
should be called. Acts x. And the disciples were at the first weak and 
subject to many infirmities, and therefore we must take heed of judging and 
censuring others, and also that we discourage not ourselves, by reason of our 
weakness. God will in his time strengthen us, and it may be call them. 
Secondly, Observe it is God reveals this unto such. It is God that must take 
away the veil first, the veil of the thing, opening our understandings by 
reading and hearing ; and thus the thing itself is made fit to be known. 
Then he opens the veil of the heart and afi'ections, to embrace and love the 
things. It is God that opened the heart of Lydia, Acts xvi. 14. , Let us 
therefore bear with the ignorant. Though God's time is not yet come, it 
may hereafter. 

2. Secondly, Ministers, when they come to preach, must pray that God 
woidd take away the veil from the peojole's ears and hearts ; and p)eople when 
they come, let them pray that God ivould open their hearts, and not come in 
the strength of their own wit, knowing that God openeth and shutteth : 
none can open or shut till he doth it. 

3. In the third place, we may observe that God in mercy loill do this for 
us. He will open our hearts. He will reveal, though not every particular 
truth, yet all necessary truths, according to our estates. Some stand in 
need of more than others : as ministers ought to have more than people ; 
and governors are to have a larger spirit than other inferiors : yet all shall 
have sufiicient. 

Therefore for our necessities let us go to God. He hath promised to 
lead us ; and with David pray, * Lord, open thou mine eyes, that I may 
see the wonders of thy law,' Ps. cxix. 18. He hath promised to anoint 


our ej'cs with eye- salve ; and it is his office to guide us ; he is our prophet 
to instruct us. 

4. In the next place, observe that if any man belong to God, he must at 
one time or other be this minded as Paid was : to hate all things as vain ; 
to strive on to perfection ; to make conscience of the least ofiences ; yea, 
of idle thoughts and words ; of loose, wanton behaviour ; to know he is not 
perfect enough, vigilant enough ; to look how far he is short of that pitch of 
perfection he ought to attain unto ; not to content himself that he hath out- 
gone others. These things they shall know either here, in time of trial and 
temptation, or at the hour of death, when no man ever repented of his good- 
ness or forwardness in religion, nor of his care or constancy in good courses. 

And therefore let us be stirred up to be of the same mind now ; and if 
any man shall think with himself, because God will reveal this, therefore 
he will neglect means, and stay till God inspires this mind into him, let 
such take heed : if they love goodness, they will set about it presently ; 
but if they quench the good motions of God's Spirit, God will take his 
Spirit from" such. Beg that God would now change thee, for thou art not 
master of thy thoughts. If we now put off God till we die, it is just with 
God to sufier us to forget ourselves. Let us be well affected for the pre- 
sent ; and though we see not so clearly as we should do, let us attend the 
means ; and though we cannot grow in religion, yet let us not think it a 
shame, but allow and uphold such courses, else is our estate desperate. 

Observe further this speech, as it is a cliscovenj of a 'moderate sjxirit in the 
apostle. There are some graces that seem in show to cross one another, as 
zeal and moderation, but they do not. For zeal, when it meets with a fit 
subject for moderation, can be moderate. Paul condemns not, but hopes ; 
and it is an example for our imitation. Love bears all and hopes all. 
While God suffers, why should not we suffer ? Christ's Spirit will not 
break the bruised reed, in whomsoever it is. God hath a time for such as 
we condemn, even as he had a time for us, and therefore we must use all 
means, waiting if at any time God will give us repentance, 2 Tim. ii. 25. 
Ministers must not be harsh with weak Christians. It is God's work to 
bow affections, and not man's. And secondly, when we have used all the 
means we can, ?ce must depend on God's providence ; and therefore we are 
to fetch grounds of toleration and patience towards others from God's love 
and wisdom, who reveals the seed sometimes long after. 

The papists they check us for want of means to reduce men into unity, 
and to compound controversies. They brag of the pope's power this way ; 
but it is but a brag. For why do they not conclude their own ? 

They are far more happy than the church was in Christ's time : he says, 
* Offences must come,' Mat. xviii. 7. Paul sees there ' must be errors,' 
1 Cor. xi. 19. He could not compose all. God must reveal it in his time. 

But how do they compose differences ? By excommunication, imprison- 
ment, and death ; and this by the censure of an ignorant man perhaps, 
which is brutish and unfit for the church of God. For our part we want 
no means ; but the effect or success we must leave to God. We are not 
to force men tyrannically to our opinions in lesser matters, but leave them 
to God's time of revelation. 

And lastly. As this hope of revelation is promised, so are toe to expect it 
and ivaitfor it ; 'for to him that hath, more shall be given,' Mark iv. 24. 
And therefore let them that have beginnings of grace be comforted to walk 
on ; and for those that are not entered, let them not be discouraged. God 
will reveal. But upon what condition it follows. 

1 PHILIPPIANS CHAP. Ill, VER. 16. 119 

VERSE 16. 
Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained^ let us loalh hy the same rule. 

The word * nevertheless,' some read it ' only ' (m), as if it were a con- 
dition. But it implies both a precept and a condition, shewing that those 
that look for revelation of further knowledge and goodness they must walk 
according to that measure of knowledge they have. The word ' rule ' 
implies in general the Scripture, more particularly a company of sound, 
truths concerning faith, love, and hope. There is a great Bible, which is 
the whole word of God. The little Bible is the grounds of religion : and 
these are not only to be understood in the book, but comprehended and 
invested in our understanding and affections ; and according to these we 
must walk. Truth is no guide to us, being only in the book, but as it is 
seated in the heart. 

Doct. But let us come to some observations. First, we may learn that 
God out of his goodness hath left to his church a ride of faith and manners. 
There is a rule whereby men must walk, otherwise should we be in a laby- 
rinth of errors continually, having no other light but this torchlight of 
nature to guide us in this thick darkness wherein we are by nature. 

The properties of this rule are divers. First, It is a fixed and unchange- 
ahle rule ; and therefore we must bring all to it, not it to all. 

Secondly, This rule is a persjyicmms and clear rule. ' Thy word is a 
lantern to my steps, and a light to my paths.' 

Thirdly, This ride is homogeneal. All things therein are spiritual, all 
holy, all pure ; and therefore, when the question is about religion, we must 
have recourse thereto as the only absolute complete rule. And therefore 
we must know this rule and then be led by it ; for the word ' rule ' implies 
that there must be a thing to be ruled, else what needs rule, or to what use 
should it serve ? An instrument is in vain without use. It is true, many 
men make religion and Scripture but a mere object of discourse. But their 
example ought to be no rule to us. If we look to be saved, it must be by 
walking according to this rule ; and therefore a Christian life is no licentious 
life. Though he be freed from the law, yet must he serve God day and 
night. Therefore it is that the Christian prospers not nor thrives in this 
world, because he will not lie, nor swear, nor have a broad conscience, as 
the children of this world have, that take all occasion and scope to be rich. 
But a Christian lives by rule. He hath little, and it is blessed to him ; for 
he looks at riches and profits of another kind. 

In the second place, we 7nay observe that a Christian walJceth hy this rule. 
He thinks it not sufficient to take a step, but keeps a right course stedfastly 

But how may this be done ? may some men say. 

1. I answer: Let us use the means; as first, let us treasure up the v)ord 
in our consciences. Let us get the rule within us ; get the articles of faith 
and assurance of the promises, and let this be betimes Avhile we are young. 
It is the ordinary cry, The Scriptures are heard,* they cannot understand 
them. But what is the reason '? They are bred up in earthly businesses, 
and are stuffed with them so as they find no place for the word ; and it is 
a miracle to see men thus brought up to live by this rule. 

2. Secondlj^ When we have once treasured up the knowledge of these 
things, tve must learn to apply them iipon several occasions ; for where no 

* Qu. ' hard ' ?— En. 


practice is, there knowledge is idle, and makes us worthy of more stripes. 
Many have general truths in their minds, but coming to apply them, they 
find a great want. David knew adiUtery was a sin, and Peter knew it was 
dangerous for a man to rely on himself, yet how foully did they fall. 

3. Thirdly, Let us compare our expc7-ience with our rule. We shall find 
there is nothing therein but is fulfilled ; that there is no suffering but for 
some sin or other; and that besides heaven hereafter, God rewards par- 
ticular obedience here with paricular rewards ; and particular sin with 
particular corrections. We shall know that his judgments are not scare- 
crows. The work of the wicked is accursed, but it shall go well with the 
righteous ; and by this means we shall be encouraged to good and scared 
from bad courses. 

4. Fourthly, Be inquisitive and ivatchful over our particnlar steps. Take 
and hear admonitions and instructions, and be inquisitive after them. 
Those that are otherwise minded, no marvel if they, like libertines, spurn 
against all instruction and advice, and accordingly feel the smart of their 
ways before they see it. 

5. Fifthly, Get a wonderful jealousy over our hearts. We often offend in 
thoughts and desires, which God, the searcher of the heart, looks into ; 
and we must therefore be jealous of idle thoughts and words, not only of 
others, for so a hypocrite may be. 

Ohj. But loose persons will say. Oh, this is an unpleasant course ; we 
must bid all joy farewell when we come to this. 

Ans. I answer. No. The ways of wisdom are ways of comfort and plea- 
sure. God approves of them, and our consciences will tell us so, and 
thereby will fit us for life or death, and will so settle us, that no estate 
shall be unwelcome to us ; and, as Ps. 1. 23, ' To such as order their con- 
versation aright God will shew his salvation ; ' and, as in the text fore- 
going, ' God will reveal himself more and more,' so as if we be faithful and 
conscionable in little, we shall have greater matters revealed to us ; and 
contrarily, if we be unfaithful and careless, God will tal^e from us the 
key of knowledge^ and the use thereof, and will give us up to foul vices, 
even sins against nature, as he punished the Gentiles, and to believe lies, 
as Paul says, 2 Thess. ii. 11. And will answer us as he did the idolaters, 
even according to their multitude of idols, Ezek. xiv. 4. So as would we 
have favour in our sins, and teachers that shall bolster us up in them, and 
not cross our vain courses ? God will let us have our heart's desire, but 
we must know that this is an inevitable way to a desperate estate ; and 
therefore marvel not so much at the loose liver because of his good breed- 
ing, for as they desire the ill, so they have, and are justly punished 

Let us mind the same thing. 

Observe here, that we are not only to walk suitable to others, but we 
must mind the same thing that others of our profession do. So as this is 
a direction to concord, shewing that a Christian is a member of Christ as his 
head, and of the mystical body the church. Faith ties him to Christ, love 
ties him to the body, so as he must walk with Christ and also with the 
body. He must look to himself first, and then to the body. The ground 
of this union is laid down here to be first an union of mind and afiection, and 
this must be in good, or else we are brethren in evil. It is no marvel the 
•world complains of want of love, when there is no agreement in the rule of 
our love, when there is no agreement in the objects of our love. It is not 


riotous fellowship, but fellowship in the gospel that unites us. Let ua 
mind this same thing, and then we shall atlcct one another ; and because 
our knowledge doth not extend to every particular alike, let us agree in the 
main points, and let not less things break us off one from another. If we 
did walk according to our measure of knowledge in those things wherein we 
agree between us and the Lutherans, [there] would not be that bitterness of 
spirit that there is ; all censures and distempers would cease. And it is a fault 
in man}' Christians, though bred up well in knowledge, yet being of a harsh 
spirit and nature, while he walks not according to the same rule, and minds 
not the same things in the main as he should do, he grows to be bitter. 
As for those that would be sincere, they must endeavour to be united in 
one, as they have one God, one faith, one baptism ; for a Christian loves 
not to go to heaven alone. And when he is there, he knows ho shall be 
one with Christ and one with the holy saints, and therefore will endeavour 
to be in perfect unity here. Considering thei-e is no good he hath but he 
enjoys it as being a member of the body of Christ, he knows it is a horrible 
thing that members of the same body should fall out one with another ; and 
therefore what shall separate or divide us ? Shall infirmities ? Alas ! 
we are all sick of this disease, ivniain petimus dammque. Are they too hot? 
We are too cold. Why should we not stoop and yield? Christ he stooped 
from heaven to us. Shall errors ? Why, the time will come God will 
reveal himself more fully. Shall sin ? We know what the apostle saith, 
Gal. vi. 1 : ' Those that are spiritual must restore such with the spirit of 
meekness.' We must not cut off members for every sore. Shall injuries? 
It is the honour of a man to pass by such. Do we look Christ should for- 
give us when vv-e will not forgive others ? Consider it is the practice of all 
holy men. Paul ' became all things to all men, if by any means he might 
win some,' 1 Cor. ix. 20, seq. Peter received reproof of him, yet fell not 
out with him. Some there are of such a perverse spirit, as if they see in 
any one any infirmity, presently they break into these or the like words, 
' I will not be of that man's profession,' thus forsaking all the good in the 
holy profession because of some weakness in the professors. 

If they will needs be separating, let them separate from the world, from 
scandalous, careless, riotous persons, else Satan rules in division. He 
knows he is best able to deal with them that are alone, and therefore draws 
Eve from Adam, and one Christian from another, and so quickly overcomes 
them. If in company one fall, another may help him up ; if he be cold, 
another may warm him by exhortation and example. 

Consider, therefore, icJio are best viinded, and mind the best things with 
them. If we find we have attained to a greater degree in grace than others, 
endeavour to bring them to us. The communion of saints is an article of 
our faith. Every one believes it, but few knows what it means ; and 
therefore no marvel they desire it not. 

VERSE 17. 
Brethren, he/oUoiuers together of me. 

These words contain another exhortation, with a friendly compellation, 
which I pass over, having heretofore had often occasion to speak of it. 
The exhortation is to imitation of the apostle, ' follow me.' And because 
I cannot ever be with you, therefore follow those among you that walk as 
I do. 

Whence we learn, that together with' the rules of religion we must propound 



God's graces in lis, as examples for others to imitate ; and tliis arises not 
from pride, but from confidence of truth and holiness in our own hearts 
and conversations ; and religion maketh this a virtue and duty, without 
which it were boasting ; and so it doth many things, of themselves not 
seemly, very fitting. David's dance was in worldly esteem counted but 
folly, yet having respect to God's glory is commendable. And therefore we 
must not be captious when we see such things in others, that men ordi- 
narily count indiscretion. But mark their ground, and by it esteem of 
them, and accordingly follow such. ' Be ye followers of me,' saith St 
Paul ; that is, observe what my doctrine is, and what I do and acknow- 
ledge, follow and imitate me. The apostle's doctrine consists chiefly of 
three heads ; whereof the first, concerning our natural condition, as Kom. 
1st, 2d, 3d chapters, and Eph. ii. And the second, concerning our remedy 
by Christ Jesus, God and man, being king, priest, and prophet, as in the 
Hebrews. And the third, the manner how Christ is become ours by im- 
putation, and is laid hold on by faith, which is given to us by God, who 
being unchangeable and true, we persevere in this rule and course of 
obedience, by the mercies of God, though with many combatings and 
strivings, even to fulness of glory. The apostle's example see in part in 
this chapter, in holiness of life and death to sin, and esteem of the goods of 
this world as base. In the Acts see his pains in the ministry, his calling, 
his heavenly and holy mind in the next verse. 

And therefore, let us read these often, and consider them. They are an 
excellent glass, that will transform us into an holy form and fashion. Many 
things there are in him that are extraordinary and not imitable. He 
wrought in another calling for his living. He was an apostle, had extraordi- 
nary gifts b}^ revelation, and indeed not so much by study as the ministers of 
the gospel now, to whom God gives gifts, but in the faithful and painful* 
use of the means ; and therefore are they not bound to imitate the apostle 
in this thing as in other things which he did as an apostle ? 

But to proceed to particulars. Imitation implies four things : 

Fu'st, A doing that which another doth. 

Second, A doing it in the samp, manner. 

Third, A doing thereof grounded upon the same affections, not as in a 
stage play, where he that acteth the person of a king is often a varlet. 
But it implies such an imitation as is in a child, that endeavoureth to be 
like the father in disposition as well of mind as of body. 

Fourth, It implies a doing, studio imitandi, with an earnest desire to be 
like him. For he that doth that which God commands, and not as express- 
ing his desire of imitation, he is no follower ; and therefore in all our 
actions we ought to desire to be like God, and endeavour to express in 
action what we desire; and to this end we are to search for examples and 
patterns in the Scripture, for those that are more excellent. For the most 
excellent in all kinds are the best rules for others ; and because in many 
things we offend all, let us follow the examples of men no further than they 
follow Christ, 1 Cor. xi. 1. And it was one end of Christ's incarnation, 
that he might be an example unto us, ' As I, your Lord and Master, have 
washed your feet, so ye ought to wash one another's feet,' John xiii, 14 ; 
' and learn of me, for I am meek,' Mat, xi, 29, 

Hence we may gather the ground why we have not only rules in Scrip- 
ture to live by, but also examples. For, first, they shew that the things 
commanded are possible to be done. Then they shew us the way and means 
* That is, ' painstaking.' — G, 


more plainly, how to do them. Thirdly, they shew hoio graceful and accept- 
able they are when they are done. So as the Scriptures are not penned alto- 
gether in a commanding fashion, but have mingled sweet alluring examples. 
For there are four ways of teaching : rule, reason, similitudes, and examples. 
The two former enjoins, but works not on the affections. Similitudes are 
but slight ; only examples conforms us in a most sweet alluring manner. 

Use 1. And therefore we ought to be exemplary, as to folio lo others, and 
especially those that are above others. They should be burning and shining 
lights, as stars giving light to passengers in the darkness of this world. 
To this end observe some means. And, 

Direct. 1. First, Reverence not only the eye of God but of ivealc Christians, 
maxima debetur puero reverentia {v). We are to be awful of our carriage, 
that we may give no ill example to them ; and to this end we are to know 
that we should give account for those sins that we either cause or suffer 
others to fall into if we may hinder them. Give therefore no offence or 
scandal to the little ones. 

Direct. 2. Labour to deny ourselves in liberties, especially when we are in 
the presence of such as will take scandal; and to this end labour for the 
grace of love, which will cause us to endure much, and put up many things 
which we count injuries. 

Direct. 3. Thirdly, In our carriage we are so to demean ourselves that 
we value, esteem, and respect those with xohom we converse ; for else our 
actions being visible to others, they will seem to be done out of a self- 
respect, and so will not affect or work on them. Grace will teach us to 
honour the meanest, as those that may be dearly beloved of God, who also 
may excel us in many excellent qualities, and in some kind of grace may 
also go beyond us. 

Use 2. Secondly, If we be bound to give good example, then woe to the 
world for o fences. What shall become of those who wound and vex con- 
tinually the hearts of those with whom they converse ? Many are in hell, 
propter alienum peccatum. In the eyes of God, who knows the heart and 
intentions, sin is committed before it be acted, and therefore it is all one 
whether thou committest it or not. But it is not thus before men ; for 
when it is committed it turns to scandal, and opens the enemies' mouths, 
and grieves the Spirit of God in his children. The prophets complain 
hereof; and we may observe God correct his children most to keep them 
from scandalising others, and that others may beware of scandal. So 
David's sin was pardoned, yet because he gave scandal the child died. 

Use 3. Thirdly, As we must give good example, so ive must endeavour to 
tahe good from others' example ; and to this end, 

1. First, We must eye them, and pry into their actions ; for this end hath 
God left us a continual succession of examples. 

2. Secondly, We must eye them not to observe their weaknesses, to uncover 
their shame ; for this is a poisonous disposition, proceeding even from the 
devil. Neither are we to observe them, thereby to take liberty to the flesh 
from their ill example ; but we are to eye them as we view glasses, to deck 
and adom ourselves by them, and to compose ourselves in a good course. 

3. Thirdly, In imitation we are to observe the best, and the best of the best, 
and not to compare ourselves with those that are inferior to us. For he 
that thinks himself good by comparison, he is not good, as a runner will 
not conclude he runs swiftly, because he hath outrun a lame man. And 
therefore St Paul says elsewhere, ' Brethren, follow me as I follow Christ,' 
1 Cor. iv. 16, propounding to himself the most excellent pattern of all, 


Christ Jesus. Contrariwise he blames the Corinthians because they 
measured themselves by themselves, 2 Cor. x. 12. 

4. Fourthly, We must learn truths before we practise, for the best have their 
blemishes. So that we must learn to know how to avoid them. The 
papists urge us with the succession and universality of their church. No, 
say we, it is the doctrine that must try the church, whether it be true or 
false, for men are inensura mensurata. It is the doctrine is mensura men- 
surans, the measure measuring, whereby our actions ought to be squared 
and framed aright. The papists urge us with an implicit faith. Alas ! 
what example, what imitation can there be, when they know not what to 
imitate ? They know not what the church believes, and yet they must 
believe as the church believeth. 

5. Fifthly, We must labour to have soft hearts, sanctified with grace and 
mollified, for a stony hard heart will receive no impression ; and to this 
end are we to use the means, to embrace the word, to receive the sacra- 
ments, and to pray that God would open our eyes and soften our stony 

6. Sixthly, We are to look to every one that hath any good thing worthy of 
imitation, as those that delight in gardens, where they hear of any choice 
flowers, they will have a slip for their own garden. Thus it should be with 
us ; where we see any flower of any grace, get that and place it in our own 
gardens. In every Christian there is something imitable, and something 
that may further us ; and therefore this apostle longed to see the Eomans, 
that he might be comforted by their faith, Kom. i. 12. It is with the 
church as with the firmament, ever some are rising and some are setting. 
Let us look to the stars of our time, and walk by their light. It is not 
enough that we can commend the martyrs, for that is ordinary, as it was 
with the Jews in Mat. xxiii. 29. Though they builded the sepulchres of 
the prophets, if they had been alive together with them, they would have 
persecuted them ; and therefore Christ saith, ' They killed the prophets.' 
And the ground of it is because it is a dishonour to God not to take notice 
of his goodness and glorious graces in others ; and therefore if the stars do 
praise him, surely these stars must much more set forth his glory, that 
being of themselves sinful wretched men, by his power are made glorious 
lights for others to walk by. 

7. And in the seventh place. In things whereof there is no certain rule to 
direct us, ive ought to imitate the example and custom of the most holy and 
sober sort. As in apparel much question is, what sort, what fashion is most 
to be imitated, let the most sober and moderate of thine own rank be guide 
unto thee. It is singularity to difier from such, with a desire to be noted, 
and it savours of pride ; and such shall be condemned by their examples, 
even as Noah condemned the old \Yorld. 

Use. For use of all this, learn hence what is the best succession. That 
is the best and surest note of succession which is both in doctrine and 
example. Local succession is nothing. They are the children of Abraham 
that do the works of Abraham. They are Jews which are Jews inwardly 
in the spirit. The papists they cry out against us we have no succession, 
but it is they have no succession. Their doctrine everywhere crosses the 
doctrine of the ancient Church of Kome. Their practice is without pre- 
cedent. What precedent have they for rebellion, for their equivocation, 
and the like ? They follow, indeed, but as corruption doth generation. 

' PHILIPPIANS CHAP. Ill, VER. 18. 125 

VEESE 18. 

For many walk, of whom I have told you often. 

These words contain a reason of Paul's exhortation ; and from the con- 
nection we may observe, that tvhere truth is, error is. Where wheat ia 
there are tares. Walk as I do, for there are many with whom ye converse 
that walk as enemies to the cross of Christ. Our enemies tell us, because 
of our errors we are not the true church. They may better conclude con- 
trarily, that because we have some few errors, therefore there is a true church 
amongst us. Where truth is there will be opposers, and therefore we are 
not to be scandalised hereat. The skill and courage of a Christian is seen 
most where truth is in danger, as the goodness of a pilot is seen specially 
in a tempest. 

The papists will not have the word read in the vulgar tongue. Why ? 
Because they say many errors will thence arise, while the common people 
understand it not. They may as well argue, because there is much deceit, 
therefore I will not buy nor sell. St Paul was of another mind. He would 
preach at Ephesus, ' for a great door and effectual was opened,' though he 
knew there were ' many adversaries,' 1 Cor. xvi. 9. 

In the next place, observe he saith, ' many there were,' meaning of the 
better and more eminent sort, that is, of teachers. A pitiful thing, that in 
the golden times of the church the chief leaders of the church should be 
misled ; and therefore we are not to wonder that we should find it thus, 
and therefore we must not be scandalised by the multitude. One Micaiah 
is better than four hundred false prophets ; and therefore we must not 
number the followers, but weigh them aright (w). 

To proceed. He saith there are ' many.' He nameth none in particular, 
yet no doubt but noted scandalous persons may and ought to be particu- 
larly named, that others may take notice and heed of them ; yet this must 
be warily done. The apostle curses the coppersmith, but only names 
Demas. Those that are weak must be gently touched ; those that are 
obstinate and scandalous must be plainly made known ; and this draweth 
some of our writers particularly to lay open the vices and falsehoods of those 
that are obdurate, and therefore we must not take scandal thereat, it 
arising from a zealous care of God's church, not of malice. 

In the next place, he saith he told them ' often.' The apostle was 
affectionately bent for their good, and therefore to write the same things 
often to them it was not grievous to him, seeing to them it was false.* For 
the nature of man is very dull in conceiving of things that belong to salva- 
tion, and their memories are but brittle. If therefore we do often inculcate 
and lay open the danger of that whorish religion long since condemned, it 
must be well taken in these times, especially wherein men are so secure, 
daring to venture on anything, yea, to go to their masses, upon pretence of 
their strength, that they can come away without being defiled. 

And now tell you weeping. 

As if he should have said, if nothing else will make you beware, yet let 
my tears move, my tears proceeding from grief and compassion of the 
miserable estate of such teachers, and of such as are led by them. 

Affections therefore are lawful, yea, necessary in God's children. AU 
actions in God's worship are esteemed according to the affections that they 
are done with. We are as we love, not as we know. What is the life of 

* Qu. ' safe ' ?— Ed. 


a Christian but the performance of things with courage, delight, and joy ? 
And therefore the strongest Christians have strongest affections. For 
rehgion doth not harden the heart, but molHfies it ; and regeneration doth 
not take aflections away, but restores them sanctified and pure. 

But to come particular!}" to the matter here. He is compassionate, and so 
compassionate as his natural constitution will admit ; he expresseth this with 
tears, which ariseth from grief for something within ourselves, or by reason 
of sympathy with others for some danger that they are in, or like to fall into. 

Reason 1. The reasons hereof are, because they are led hy the Sinrit of 
Christ, who was all made of compassion ; for he wept for his friends, for 
Lazarus, and for his enemies. ' Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would 
I have gathered you, and you would not.' He was tender in bearing the 
infirmities of his weak disciples and of weak women. His compassion was 
such as drew him to the lowest degree of humiliation to free us from danger. 

Reason 2. Secondly, The saints have clear sanctified judgments to ajipre- 
hend triie causes of remorse. They know what danger is, as Paul saw here 
that the sheep were in danger of wolves, and saw the danger so much the 
gi'eater by how much they saw not the danger they were in. 

Reason 3. Thirdly, The saints have their hearts broken with sense and 
feeling of Christ's covijiassion in their hearts, and so are mollified, expressing 
it outwardly towards their brethren ; contrarily, the wicked never felt any 
remorse or pity of Christ in them, and therefore know not what compassion 
means, so as their mercies are cruelties. Use this as a note whereby we 
may discern of our Christian estate ; for surely where there is no compassion 
there can be no excellent estate. 

Again, From the apostle's object of compassion and weeping observe, that 
spiritual evil and danger is the most 2'>'>'0per object of Christian compassion. 
Paul he pities not himself because of his fetters he was in, but it was the 
bonds of sin made him cry, ' wretched man that I am, who shall deliver 
me from the body of this death ?' Eom. vii. 24. And good reason, for 
these spiritual evils of error in judgment, hardness of heart, security, seared 
conscience, and the like, they lead us the assured way to damnation, as it 
is said in the words following, 'whose end is damnation.' Contrarily, 
outward crosses being sanctified to us, they bring us to heaven, as it is 
1 Cor. xi. 32, ' We are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be con- 
demned with the world.' For those crosses are occasions of good affections, 
purging the heart from deadness and fleshly trust, they draw us to God ; 
and therefore spiritual danger is the proper object of pity. It is otherwise 
with us. We lament Christian bloodshed. But how many souls are 
carried into error daily, turned to popery, and no remorse, no pity ! There 
is great need thereof both in the magistrate and the minister, that they 
should be moved to provide remedies against such mischiefs. 

And let us be far from envying such as are in ill cozirses ; let their out- 
ward pomp be never so great, rather lament their misery. Alas ! poor 
souls, how are they hurried, nay, do willingly run to destruction, while they 
ai'e blinded with those idle shows of vanity. 

But much more miserable is their estate that draw on others to misclnef 
that are brethren in evil. What other end can they look for but to be as 
tares bound up and cast into the depth of hell, being guilty of as many 
men's deaths as they are of ill examples in their past life ? 

But for ourselves, let not our soids come into their secrets ; let us mourn 
at the lewdness of some, and the danger of cdl. And to this end let us con- 
sider duly the afflictions of Joseph, taking heed of sensualities, which, a3 

' PHILIPPIANS CHAP. Ill, VER. 18. 127 

Hosea saith, takctli away the heart, Hosea iv. 11. Moses saw the misery 
of his brethren, and pitied them ; so should we consider of the danger of 
popery, of schism, and reheUion : and this will break our hearts, and cause 
us, with Jeremiah, to mourn in secret for the sins of the times, Jer. xiii. 17. 

Tliey are tJie enejnies of the cross of Christ. 

In these and the following words is a description of these inordinate 
walkers which the apostle speaketh of. They are described by their 
disposition : first, outwardly, * that they are enemies to Christ's death.' 
Then inwardly, * Their belly is their God, they glory in their shame, and 
they mind earthly things.' Then by their end, which is ' damnation.' 
They are pointed out and described to us, to the end we might take notice 
of them. By the cross is not meant the sign of the cross, as the 
papists fondly imagine, but Christ's death on the cross, whereby was made 
satisfaction and redemption and reconciliation. 

1. The enemies of this cross are, first, such as added hereto the cere- 
monial obedience to the law and their own satisfactory* works. 

2. Secondly, Such as ai-e carnal, denying the power of Christ's crucifying 
in not crucifying their affections. 

3. Thirdly, Such as could not endure or suffer for the testimony of Christ's 
crucifying ; and therefore to avoid persecution, they pressed circumcision 
with Christ, and so were enemies to his cross. Gal. vi. 12. Such were the 
enemies thereof then, and such have we now of the papists ; let them brag 
never so much of their esteem and reverence they give to the sign thereof. 
While they seem to kiss it, they betray it Judas-like. For while they teach 
merits, satisfoction in purgatoiy, indulgences, and the like, they make the 
cross of Christ of none effect, which is only and wholly sufficient in itself. 

And whei'eas they say they do add, they take nothing from the suffi- 
ciency of Christ : — 

I answer. Circumcision was added here by those, who are notwithstand- 
ing condemned. For as to join poison with wholesome meat takes away 
the nourishment of the meat, so if we be circumcised, Christ shall profit us 
nothing; and grace is no grace where there is merit, Kom. xi. 6. Again, 
consider the equity thereof in natural reason. Can it be thought likely 
that God should become man, to do anything which lies in the power of 
man to patch up and make good, or else it is insufficient ? Shall finite 
corrupt man be able to make an infinite work perfect. No. God will not 
give his glory to another ; and will he part with his glory in this great 
work, which propounds his glory as the main end thereof? Eph. i. 6, 12. 

4. Fourthly, There are another sort of enemies, such as cast not themselves 
on the merits of Christ's cross, those whose consciences were never convict 
of sin. Abundance there are who glory in their proud presumptuous swag- 
gering courses, shewing that they are either blind or stark mad. They 
wilfully run to perdition, they will not hear nor be controlled. Others that 
see their forepast life how wicked it hath been, they are so far from 
casting themselves on Christ's merits, as they despair and grow more and 
more obstinate therein, even to their own destruction ; either by not seeing 
the merits of Christ, or through want of confidence on them, though they 
see his righteousness to be above their sins. And some are so detestably 
wicked, as because they see no salve for them, they run desperately into a 
custom of sin, and continue therein to their death. As we would desire to 
avoid this fearful estate and condition, so let us take heed of custom of 

* That is, ' satisfyiug.' — G. 


sinning, for that will make us senseless, and will move God to give us over. 
And therefore let us take heed that we receive not the grace of God in vain, 
it being so freely proffered to us. And to this end, know that so far as we 
suffer our lusts to overrule us, and we not crucify them, so far we are ene- 
mies. Gal. V. 4. For while we know and consider Christ as crucified for 
our sins, it will make us, if we have any gi-ace, think of sin as of a thing 
that deserves to be crucified, and hate that that caused the death of our 
dear Saviour ; for they wei'e the cruel tormentors of Christ. And if we 
embrace Christ, we shall have the same affection to sin that Christ had ; 
for Christ will not lodge but in a heart humbled for sin. And the estate 
of those men is miserable, that are so far from crucifying lusts, as they 
thrust themselves upon all occasions of temj)tatiou and sin, and esteem 
them as their only enemies, that tell them of their unchristian courses. 
Surely, however they may daub for a time, yet their outward profession 
will never administer sound comfort to them, but they shall find bitterness 
at their latter end. 

5. There are yet another sort of enemies, namely, such as nill endure 
nothiufj for Christ ; who notwithstanding bore his cross, and bids us take 
up our cross of reproach for religion. Some will endure any pain, travail, 
danger, and watchings, for riches or ambition, but dare not speak a word, 
or appear in Christ's cause. Are not these enemies ? Shall Christ out of 
his love come from heaven to the basest abasement for us, and shall not 
we endure for a while here, seeing it is also for our own good, and we are 
gainers therebj^ and considering that Christ called us to suffer. For while 
we live here, and embrace true religion, there will ever be a cross and 
shame in the world, accompanying the profession thereof, if it be sincere. 

Preachers therefore that preach not Christ plainly and boldly, and 
hearers that come to the hearing of the word rather for rhetorical flourishes, 
witty sentences fit only for discourse sake, even thus far they are enemies. 
For if Christ be not preached mainly and chiefly to this end, to amend the 
hves of men, to win souls to Christ ; and if men, coming to hear, come 
not even for this end mainly, to; be bettered in their salvation, to be 
strengthened in grace ; they shall be damned as enemies for this, that the 
means of salvation they profane and despise. 

And therefore let^^s abase ourselves for our sins, and magnify God's good- 
ness in affording means of salvation. Labour also to shew how we profit 
by suffering for the gospel, and count it an honour, and ' rejoice that we 
are worthy to suffer' for Christ, Acts v. 41, labour to overcome the world 
and our lusts, and to honour Christ even in his meanest children. If the 
love of Christ will not constrain us, no motives will draw us. 

YERSE 19. 

WJiose end is destruction. 

The word signifies a reward, and is translated and taken often for an 
end,* because reward is given at the end of the work ; and thus is salva- 
tion called a reward for goodness, because it is given at the end of a holy 
life. The other word signifies damnation or destruction, which implies all 
things tending to or accompanying the punishment of a wicked life. And 
the connection of these words with the former may be thus framed. He 
that is an enemy to the cause of life is an enemy to life, but those that are 
enemies to the cross of Christ are enemies to the cause of life and to that 
* The original is rekog. — Q. 

< PHILIPPIANS CHAP. Ill, VEE. 19. 129 

which saves them ; and therefore they must needs be destroyed. This 
made the apostle judge of them thus, and withal he saw they were void of 
grace, and were incorrigible. And from hence we may infer, 

That we may in some sort jnchje of the spiritual estate of men, even ivhile 
they are alive. For as astronomers can judge of eclipses, and statesmen of 
the continuance or danger of the State, and physicians of the event of dis- 
eases, by the course of natural causes, so in religion there are predictions 
on good grounds, what will follow of ill courses tending to damnation. 

But more particularly, there is a threefold judgment. 

1. First, One by faith, which concerning ourselves brings certainty ; and 
so we are able to judge of ourselves. 

2. Secondly, There is a judgment by fruits, comparing men's disposition 
and state with their fruits ; and so we say, if men walk riotously, we can 
infer. Surely he is in no good estate. 'By their fruits shall you know them,' 
saith Christ,' Mat. vii. 16. 

3. Thirdly, There is a particnlar revelation of God's Spirit. This the 
prophets and apostles had, but now we have no such rule. Yet by the 
fruits and course of men, it is an easy matter to judge what the end of those 
men will be, following those courses ; for God's word is the same now that 
it was then. Indeed, when we judge men in things indiiferent, this is rash, 
and condemned by the apostle, Eom. xiv. 3. 

For use hereof, let us learn to judge ourselves, and know if we break wil- 
fully the known rules of salvation, we are in a fearful estate. And we should 
also submit to the judgment of God's ministers while we are here, and 
amend ; for else look assuredly for the sentence of death hereafter from 
God himself, when there will be no revoking thereof. For though punish- 
ment may be deferred a while, yet assuredly it shall not go well with the 
wicked at the last, Eccl. viii. 13. 

In the next place observe, There is an end to every way, for it is taken 
for granted that they have an end ; and surely we will not, nor cannot, be 
always as we are. We are labourers, and there is a time of payment of 
our wages. And therefore, we should look whither our ways do tend. 
There will be an end of this life, but damnation shall be without end. We 
should also he inquisitive to see if toe he out of this way, that we may be 
reformed ; for these worldly pleasures must end in eternal vengeance, and 
this life is but a way to that end. 

And in the third place, Learn to he patient. When we see the wicked 
run on in a broad highway, what though they be admired here and lifted 
up ! They are but condemned persons ; and therefore, envy them not, 
seeing we would be loath, upon serious deUberation, to change estates with 
them. Observe we further from these words, that God tv ill judge eternally, 
not only for gross, scandalous sins in the course of our life, hut even for errors 
in judgment. For we must judge aright, as well as affect aright, and God 
hath no service from corrupt judgments. Those that join man's merits 
with Christ's merits, they cannot rely on God alone, neither can they 
rejoice in Christ. Chi'ist hath but half of them. Therefore, let us keep 
the virginity of our judgments ; prostitute them not to lies, but reserve 
them chaste and pure to Christ. 

And secondly, Take ive heed hoio ive converse tuith such as are of corrupt 
judgments. They are God's and Christ's enemies, and will labour to bring 
us into their ways ; and then, assuredly let us look for their end. It is 
reason, that those with whom we converse here, we should converse withal 

VOL. V. I 


Whose god is their belly. 

These words do partly shew the inward disposition of these men. By 
' belly,' in this place, he means in general all contentments and worldly 
pleasures, whereof these teachers being satisfied, they lived at large and at 

Quest. But how may they be said to make their belly their God ? 

Ans. 1. I answer, We may be said to make anything our God, first, lohen 
we count it one, as some of the papists have esteemed of the pope, as of an 
essence between man and God ; and some emperors have required them- 
selves to be so esteemed, and adored as a deity [x). 

2. Secondly, When we give such affections to it as are only due and proper 
to God, as to trust in it, to repose content in it, to joy in it ; and so is that 
sentence true, amor tuus, Deus tuus (y). 

3. Thirdly, When we use actions of invocation and adoration thereto; and 
thus the papists make saints their god, attributing such power in working 
to them, as is only proper to God. 

4. Fourthly, When tve hestoio all labour to give satisfaction thereunto. 
For explication, these men gave the intension of their most inward affec- 
tions, to procure content to their lusts. All their labour was to this end, 
and so quieted themselves in the enjoyment of them. And as they made 
their ' belly their god,' so their belly acted the part of a god, in giving them 
laws, bidding them to do, project, devise this or that ; undermine such, 
and grounding them in this first fundamental law, ' Thou canst not live 
long, neither wilt thou live well ; therefore, while thou livest, live for thy 
pleasure, take thy ease ; ' and from thence, enjoins them to use all means 
thereto : take all acquaintance, undermine all that cross thee ; and all to 
this end, that thou mayest have thy ease. 

As it was then, so now is it with the papists, their successors. All the 
difierences in religion between them and us, are by them grounded on the 
belly. That is the monarchy of the pope, and worldly pomp, and masses 
invented for idle priests, Latin prayers, little or no preaching ; only that 
the people being ignorant, they might more easily command them. If their 
errors were not invested in gain, we should soon accord- theix worship, 
especially the manner thereof, only to delight the sense. 

And among ourselves, many are not wanting that make profession of 
religion, but deny the power thereof. So long as religion and outward 
content do meet, and when religion brings preferment, all will be religious, 
for they live by no rules but those that their lusts prescribes : morning and 
evening taking care for the flesh, how to be rich, how to live at ease ; and 
for this will sell their birthright in happiness, refusing the word, refusing 
good company, yea, heaven itself. And this justly comes as a judgment 
for man's first rebellion. When men will not serve God as they should, 
they are justly given over to the service of those that arc no gods. 

Quest. But it may be asked. May we not seek to content our flesh ? 

Ans. I answer, We may respect our bodies ; and there is a due honour 
that belongs to the outward man, but we must so seek for them, as in the 
first place and principally we seek the kingdom of heaven, and its righteous- 
ness ; and then God hath promised to cast these things upon us, Mat. 
vi. 33. But when we break order and measure, being first and princi- 
pally careful for our lusts, the devil knowing our haunts, ofiers baits fil- 
ling for; our humours, and we, like filthy swine, devour our own de- 

* That is, = ' we should soon agree that their worship is only,' &c. — G. 

PniLIPPIANS CHAP, ni, VER. 19. 131 

And therefore, to avoid this, let us set the fear of God and damnation hefore 
our eyes ; and if wo use not these things moderately and soherly, let that in 
Eom. viii. 13 be as a flaming sword to keep us from the way of destruc- 
tion. ' If we live according to the lusts of the flesh, we shall die ;' and 
therefore, ' as strangers and pilgrims, let us abstain from fleshly lusts, 
which fight against the soul ;' against our comfort here, and our happy 
estate hereafter. 

Secondly, Let us avoid the company of condemned persons, but look on 
them with a kind of horror and detestation of them ; and pass not for their 
wicked censures, ' Their end is damnation, and their belly is their god.' 

But because the best are drawn away by these pleasures, let us observe 
some directions. 

And first, Let us see the reasons why we are thus inveigled with them. 

Reason 1. First, These earthly contentments are present to our sense. 
The other only are present to fixith, which the carnal man looks not after, 
neither cares for. 

2, Secondly, We nusle'^ up ourselves in an opinion of the necessity of these 
things, seeing the present use of them ; and we see no present use of those 
better things. 

3. Thirdly, These things are bred up with ^is, and tve are acquainted ivith 
them from our infancy, and so they plead prescription ; and when we are 
thus taken up before, religion comes after, and very hard it must needs be, 
to keep our minds lifted up ; and yet is it most necessary to be ; for lusts 
do drown men in perdition, 1 Tim. vi. 9. 

1. But for helps in this estate of ours, observe first, with due considera- 
tion, the nature^ dignity, and excellency of the soul ; that it is a spirit of an 
excellent beauty, adorned with understanding and judgment, not made to 
cast off the crown, submitting itself to the rule of every base lust, which 
indeed is the only happiness of the beasts ; nay, if happiness consists in 
pleasing the senses, beasts are more happy than we, for they have neither 
shame without, nor conscience within, to disquiet them in the enjoyment 
of their pleasures. 

And know also that this body of ours, being of that excellent temper, is 
a fabric which was not made only to be a strainer for meat to pass 
through. The quality of the brain in man, the structure of the eye, do 
testify man was made for divine meditation, to contemplate of the works of 
God, which it doth behold with the eye as through a glass. 

2. Secondly, We mast knoiv, hy giving our affections to these things, ivc 
are made like the things tve affect ; for the soul is placed in the midst, as it 
were, between heaven and earth, and as it affects the one or the other, so 
is it fashioned. If we love the flesh we are flesh ; if we follow the Spirit, 
we are transformed to its likeness. 

3. Thirdly, Consider that God is hetter than the worshipper, else is he 
mad that will worship it. But the belly is baser than ourselves. Keason 
teacheth us the pleasures of this life end in death, when our souls must 
still continue after all. Now to seek such pleasures as cannot continue 
with us is madness, as appears even by the light of reason ; and therefore 
are of more power with natural men than pure religious truths. But for 
those that are called, the Scripture puts them in mind of the last day of 
judgment, and tells them that they are made for heaven ; and such are 
therefore to set their minds on things which are above, where Christ sitteth 
on the right hand of God, Col. iii. 1 ; and when they begin to grow 

* That is, = nurse = confirm — G. 


worldly, and to follow their belly, it calls them back with a * but know for 
all this, God will bring thee to judgment ;' which, duly pondered, cannot 
but be as a hook in our jaws to bring us back to a more diligent watch over 
our ways. 

And whose glory is in their shame. 

A second part of the inward disposition, shewing that they glory in that 
which brought shame to them ; for circumcision was a ceremony given to 
the church when it was but in the infancy ; and for them that were born in 
the strength of the church, being well grown, to gloiy in such beggarly 
rudiments was shameful. In the words, first consider the affection ; second, 
the object or end, for the word implies both. And in the first consider the 
sin, then the cure. 

The sin that is reproved in them is ' vain-glory ;' that is, glorying in a 
thing not to be gloried in ; and it is grounded upon pride, which is a desire 
of excellency in vain things ; and it is for the most part in vain injudicious 
men, who ordinarily do glory in things that tend to shame. These Philip- 
pians saw that Paul was now committed. The doctrine he taught they 
thought was not good enough ; they would be wiser than he, and of deeper 

And thus even within the pale of the church, what a scandal is it that 
men should glory in a graceless grace of swearing, filling up rotten dis- 
course with new devised oaths ! And others glory in their foolish con- 
ceited gallant apparel ; which was for no other end but principally to cover 
shame. Is not this to glory in shame ? And much more those, that 
blaming, as it were, God for making them no fairer, will mend the work- 
manship of God by painting. These, while they seek to keep outward 
blemishes from the eyes of men, do discover to the whole world that they 
have a spotted rotten heart within them. 

And, indeed, it is too common for men ill bred up, to think admirably 
of themselves, when all their courses are mere vanity. He is the only man 
of account that cannot put up a cross word without blood. Is not this to 
glory in shame, whenas it is the glory of a man to pass by an offence, and 
they are the best men that can overcome themselves ? And as helpers on 
of this vain boasting, we have a generation of ignorant unsettled understand- 
ings, that admire at such shameless boasters, and so are causes of strength- 
ening such in their vain-glory. Such are flatterers of great men. Let 
them remember what is denounced against such. Woe be to them that call 
evil good and good evil. 

In the next place. Shame is not only the object of valn-ylory, but the end. 
They that are vain-glorious shall be brought to shame at length. Thus it 
is said of Babylon in Isaiah, and mystical Babylon in the Kevelations : 
' Though she say, I sit as a queen, and shall see no mourning, yet shall 
her plagues come in one day, death, and destruction, and mourning,' Isa. 
xlvii. 9, and li. 19 ; Rev. xviii. 8. 

For God hath knit vain-glor}' and shame, a punishment proportionable 
and fitting to the sin, and striking the offender most near, even to the 
heart. And thus did God meet with Ahithophel, Absalom, and Haman. 
They sought vain-glory, and their ends were shameful; and such shall 
be the end of all such as boast that they can do mischief like Doeg, 
Ps. Hi., title, et seq. And the righteous shall see, and fear, and laugh at 
. For use to ourselves, therefore, let us take heed of sin. For by nature the 


best of us are subject to it. We are all inclinable either to glory in such 
things as we should not, or to receive glory from such things as we ought 
not ; or else to glory after an inordinate manner. And in that measure we 
glory amiss, in that measure we consult shame to ourselves. Glory we 
may, but it must be well grounded, and in a right manner. 

And to the attaining thereto we must first labour for a sound knowledge 
of God, and for a sound dependence upon him in all thin/fs, and also labour 
for to see our own estate, and our many wants ; for wanting this knowledge, 
men glory in merits while they live. But when they die they grow ashamed 
of their courses and blind judgment. For while they live they judge of 
themselves by their own conceit of themselves, which is grounded either by 
comparing of themselves with those that are worse than themselves, as the 
Pharisee, that thanked God he was not as the pubHcan, Luke xviii. 11; or 
else upon the conceit that shallow persons have of them. 

1. But these are not rules for us to follow. Look rather what says the 
humbled conscience ; what says God's word and his justice ; and take 
example of the apostles and holy men of God, that gloried in the Lord 
reconciled to us in Christ, ' who is made to us wisdom, sanctification, and 
redemption,' 1 Cor. i. 30. ' Rejoice that our names are written in 
heaven,' Luke x. 20. Rejoice that we understand and know God to be 
just and merciful, Jer. ix. 23, 24. Glory in the testimony of a good con- 
science, that we are true Christians, though but weak, 2 Cor. i. 12. 

2. Secondly, We should be content with the judgment and approbation of 
God, and hearken to the admonitions of his ministers, and care not for the 
censures of the world. 

3. Thirdly, Take we heed of the first befiinninr/s and motions of sin ; at the 
first they are ever modest. The worst man that ever was, was not shameless 
in sin at the beginning, but giving way to sin by little, loses all shame, and 
causes at last corruption in judgment, and justifying a man's self in wicked 
courses. Pleasures, riches, and such things, they are like a vizard, only 
an outside of beauty ; or like one that vaunted himself, he can act the 
person of a king, but is in himself a bond slave. They act their parts 
here on this worldly stage for an hour, and leave all their followers iu 
eternal bondage for ever. Therefore let us not be ashamed for Christ's 
cause ; but stand out, labour for sincerity now, and we shall have glory 
hereafter, which as the light shall increase, whenas ' the candle of the 
wicked shall be put out,' Prov. xxiv. 20. 

Who mind earthly things. 

To ' mind,' in this place is taken largely, to think upon, remember, 
desire, joy, and to have all the soul exercised. ' Earthly things ;" that is, 
lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes, pride of life, pleasures, and profits, and 
honours, which are therefore called ' earthly,' because they are conversant 
about earthly things, and because they make their followers ' earthly 
minded ; ' and lastly, they are called earthly, in opposition to those 
that are heavenly. And thus in particular, those that mind honour are 
ambitious ; those that mind riches are covetous ; if pleasure, then they are 
voluptuous, and all of them are earthly. For as the ocean is but one, and 
yet divers parts thereof have several names, so worldliness is but one sin, 
yet having many kinds it hath also divers names. 

1. The observation that hence we may gather is, that the earthly disposi- 
tion and mind is the temper of that man who is in the estate of damnation; for 
the mind of such do shew a dead soul, estranged from the Hfe of God : ' To 


be carnally-minded is dcatli,' saith the apostle, Eom. viii. 6. For a man 
lives as he minds and loves. 

2. Secondly, Earthly disposition is opposite to God ; so Eom. viii. 7, 
* The carnal mind is enmity against God.' 

Observe we further, the apostle describes not these by any notorious 
gross scandalous sin, but by the inward disposition of the heart ; for out- 
ward actions are only efi'ects and rivers flowing from the spring of corrup- 
tion in our hearts. 

Whence we may note, that God looks to the intvard frame of the soul in 
men; and therefore though in the eyes of men a man may be without spot, 
yet is his corruption that is within, open and manifest to the all-seeing eye 
of God. 

And therefore from hence we are to he stirred up to humble ourselves 
before God, by examining our hearts, and laying open our most secret 

2. And secondly, This ought to comfort us, that though in our daily 
practice we often fall, yet God in his goodness looks at the inward frame of 
the soul, and accepts of it. 

3. Thirdly, ^hi& justly lays ojoen the folly of men's censures. If a man 
break not out into open outrageous sins, they esteem and commend such 
for good men, though it may be his soul is full stuffed with atheism, revenge, 
and all manner of villany. 

4. Fourthly, This should teach us to condemn ourselves, even for sinful 
thoughts ; for know, though thou livest without danger of man's law, thou 
mayest have a rebellious mind opposite to the divine law of God, by which 
thou shalt be judged. 

Yet seeing for this present life we stand in need of earthly things, and 
are not to cast off all care of them, let us hearken to some directions in the 
use of them. For riches and other necessaries, God sends them unto us 
to be as means to sweeten our pilgrimage here. 

Rules. 1. In using them, take heed they do not possess and take up our 
whole heart, immoderately labouring after the7n, and before any sj)iritual 
grace. This the apostle blames in these men. He saw they made religion 
to be subordinate, and to give place to their worldly lusts, and that as he 
cared not, if by any means he could attain to the resurrection of the dead ; 
so they contrarily cared not, if by any means, through any cross or loss 
whatsoever, they could attain to riches, honour, or the like; j^ea, if religion 
stood in their way, though it were with the loss of religion and a good con- 

2. Secondly, We must take heed that we use these earthly things so as to 
draw good out of them, and to employ them to good. Labour we to see 
God in pleasure, in riches, and in our abundance, knowing and esteeming 
of them as a beam of 1he bright sunshine of God's favour to us, and thus 
to be lifted up to admire and praise his goodness. 

3. Thirdly, Make them instruments of mercy and bounty. It is an ex- 
cellent way to further our accounts. So receive the good as we avoid the 
snare. The way is not to hide our talents in a napkin, to enter into a 
monastery, to live idle ; but to occupy, use, and employ them in the ser- 
vice of God and of our neighbours. 

4. To conclude. Let us so use them as they be help)ers of us to a better life, 
not hinderers ; for we are in an estate between two, in a warring and con- 
flicting estate, even as a piece of iron between two loadstones, and know 
not which way to lean ; and yet may ofiend in the excess of either side. 

' PHILIPPIANS CHAP. Ill, VER. 20. 135 

And therefore let us observe some signs, whereby we may know whether 
we be right or not. 

Signs. 1. And first of all, this affection of love, being the primary and 
principal part, is known by other affections. If therefore our love be set on 
the world, ice shall grieve and vex ourselves for worldly losses, and fret and 
he chafed tohen loe are crossed in them; and this made Ahab so lumpish, as 
nothing could comfort him but Naboth's vineyard. 

2. Secondl}^, Let us observe lohither our labours and endeavours are car- 
ried, what we talk of most, what think we or meditate we on, first and 
last, morning and evening. If we observe our carriage, it will discover 
our mind. 

Such are also opjoosite to any religious good course. He that is rich 
bitterly opposeth goodness ; and therefore it is that Christ said, ' Ye can- 
not serve God and Mammon,' Mat. vi. 24 ; and concludeth, ' It is harder 
for a rich man to get into heaven, than for a camel to pass through a needle's 
eye,' Mat. xix. 24.* 

But to cure this sore, let us fetch arguments from the nature of the soul of 
man, and the nature of these things; and consider the incongruity between 
the soul, a pure heavenly spiritual essence, and base earthly corrupt things. 
Dust was made meat for the serpent by a curse, and not for man. 

And remember, the God of truth hath threatened vengeance against his 
dearest children that do not mortify their carnal lusts. Abhor we therefore 
the first thoughts of this sin, and divert our souls to higher thoughts ; and 
be humbled, shaming ourselves for debasing our souls in that manner, else 
will God take us in hand. For he will not suffer his children to surfeit on 
the world, but will bring them back, that they shall see and know * all is 
but vanity and vexation of spirit.' 

VERSE 20. 

For our conversation is in heaven. 

The word translated here * for ' in the former translation is ' but ' (z) ; 
and so it depends on the foregoing words, ' some walk as enemies to the 
cross of Christ,' I.e. 'Bid our conversation is in heaven.' If it be as it 
is here translated, ' for,' then doth it follow the 17th verse : ' mark them 
that walk, as ye have us for an example. For our conversation is in 
heaven,' shewing the reason why he was so confident in propounding his 
example to be imitated. Which way it be taken, it is not much material, 
only from the opposition between those examples he speaks of immediately 
going before, and is propounded in this verse. 

Note That in the church there are always men of divers dispositions. Some 
ever go within the current into Mare Mortuum,\ and others ever against 
the stream, like the stars that are carried with a secret motion of their 
own, notwithstanding that in this world they seem to be carried by the 
violent motion of the common course of men. 

1. And this was first in God's eternal decree, that there should be perpe- 
tual enmity between the seed of the woman and of the serpent. 

2. Secondly, There is a difference in calling; some only outwardly, 
some inwardly by his Spirit : ' Many are called, but few are chosen,' 
Mat. XX. 16. 

3. Thirdly, They differ in their rulers; one are governed by the devil, and 
led captive to do his will, others by God. 

* Cf. note in Vol. IV. p. 368.— G. t 1'l^at is, the Dead Sea.— G. 


4. Fourthly, In regard of their conversation; some are heavenly minded, 
others are altogether earthly. 

5. Fifthly, Tlieir ends are different ; the way of the one is upwards to 
heaven, the way of the other is downward, tending to the gates of death, 
even to hell. 

But to come to the words. The apostle saith not ' my conversation,' but 
' our conversation ;' implying that those that mean not to be of the number 
of those that have their end in damnation, they must be of the number of 
those of a holy conversation. The word in the original signifies most pro- 
perly a freedom, or a burghership.f So as from the metaphor we may gather 
thus much. 

Doct. That heaven is a city, and all true Christians are citizens avd in- 
habitants of this city ; for as it is in the city of this world, so may it be said 
comparatively of this city and the inhabitants. 

First, It is under a governor, who is the Lord Christ. 

Secondly, It is governed hy laiv, which is God's law. 

Thirdly, It hath a storehouse of all good things, as of food, and of other 
of the like sort, which is heaven, for it hath bread of life ; it hath rich and 
plenteous treasure. 

Fourthly, It hath liberties. They are free from Satan's tyranny, free 
from the law's curse and condemning power ; and are all kings, and shall 
all reign. They shall be fi'ee from all weakness, from ill company, from 
temptation. The Lamb shall be all in all. ' Glorious things are spoken 
of thee, thou city of God,' Ps. Ixxxvii. 3. 

Fifthly, They speak one language, the language of Canaan. The language 
of the beast they abhor. 

And lastly, Their carriage is alike. Grave like citizens of heaven, their 
faces are still as they were going to Jerusalem, their continuing and abiding 
city ; for while they are in this life, they are still as it were in the suburbs. 

Hence we may gather divers grounds, that while we live in this world, 
a Christian is but a pilgrim and stranger. First, Heaven is his home, and 
this life is but a way, and he a passenger. And thus David accounted of 
himself, though a king, j-et but a stranger, both himself and his fathers ; 
and therefore, as a passenger, he provides for his journey, he stands not 
for ill usage, cares not to look after delights in the way, but uses them as 
advantageous to his journey. 

And secondly, He is inquisitive after (he way, fearing he should go 
amiss ; and furnisheth himself with cordials, to cheer him and strengthen 
him in his journey. He inquires after the guide of God's Spirit, to be as 
the pillar of fire to guide him in the darkness of this world. 

Thirdl}^ He is well provided of loeapons against such enemies as he shall 
meet with in the way. He hath the shield of faith, and the sword of the 
Spirit, which is the word of God. 

2. The second ground that arises hence is, that a Christians endeavours 
are of a high nat^ire. His look is high, his soul and mind are ever upward, 
casting all burdens of earthly cares and delights from him, that he may freely 
mount up in the presence of his Maker. 

3. Thirdly, This carriage of a Christian is not by fits, but it is his trade, 
his conversation and course of life. In all things ho looks to heaven. His 
course is by rule and by law. Whatsoever he does he does as in obedience 
to God chiefly, with all his power, as approving himself to God, in whose 

* The original is ToXiriu/u/.. — G. 


sight he ever sets himself. Briefly, he doth ail things as a citizen of 

4. Fourthly, We may also ground hence, that a Christian may have his 
conversation in heaven, even while he is here alive ; for he is born anew, 
having received the hfe of grace. God requires not impossibilities, but 
always gives ability to the discharge of that which he enjoins. 

Quest. But in particular, how may a Christian be said to be in heaven, or 
to have his conversation in heaven ? 

Ans. (1.) I answer, A Christian may be said to be in heaven ; first, as in 
his head Christ Jesus, who is in heaven already, being gone to prepare a 
place for us. 

(2.) Secondly, lie is there hy faith, which makes things absent as present ; 
and so it is that ' Abraham saw Christ's day and was glad ;' and therefore 
is faith called, ' The evidence of things not seen,' Heb. xi. 1. 

(3.) Thirdly, A Christian is in heaven by his hojjes. 

(4.) Fourthly, He is there by his desires. Animus est uhi amat (aa). 

(5.) Fifthly, A Christian is in heaven, whenas his meditations are there; 
when his thoughts are thereon continually busied, as St Paul was, when in 
admiration of those joys he crieth out, ' the depth both of the riches and 
wisdom of God !' Rom. xi. 33. 

(6). Sixthly, He is there, when by continual prayers to God, he hath an 
inward aduiittance to the throne of grace, where he may freely open his heart 
to his God ; and therefore it is that those that are Christians indeed are 
often in this duty. 

5. Hence we may gather, that the glorious estate in heaven is of the same 
kind with this life of grace, only differing in degrees of happiness ; both 
estates are free : there only a freedom of glory, here a freedom of grace. 
Both are estates of redemption. There we are redeemed from sin and 
death and the devil, here we are only redeemed from the power of them ; 
there have we the full harvest, here we have the first fruits ; here we are 
heirs by faith, there by full possession ; to all of us Christ is all in all, 
only there he rules immediately, here he rules by means, by his deputies. 
There they have communion with the saints, here we also have communion, 
though we live amongst the wicked. There they praise God continually, 
here we endeavom- it continually. There they have communion with the 
beatifical vision, here we have communion with the ordinances which will 
bring us to it. 

And, therefore, let such as intend to be saints hereafter be saints here, and 
live by the laws that are given us from heaven, and that they live by in 
heaven ; for the kingdom is in such sort one and the same. The kingdom 
of grace, the preaching of the word, is called * the kingdom of heaven,' as 
well as the kingdom of glor}^ ; and men do think in vain ever to enter into 
glor}^, without coming in at the gates of grace, as appeareth out of the 
apostle's argument, 2 Peter i. 10, 11, ' Give diligence to make your calling 
and election sure, for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abun- 
dantly, into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.' 

And to this end, amongst many other, observe with me these following 

1st Direct. First, For a preparation, hear the ^vord. of God ; for by this 
we are in heaven in part already. For where the v/ord is preached, there 
is the presence of the blessed Trinity, and the holy angels bringing down 
heaven itself to us, teaching us in the laws of that kingdom. Use reading 
also ; for even thereby we talk with the saints who wrote those things for 



our instruction, and that Spirit that guided them in writing will also guide 
thee in reading. Receive the sacraments often, for these ordinances are 
the heavenly manna to us, and strengthen us in our way to the spiritual 

2d Direct. Secondly, Rejoice in often communicating with the saiiHs. These 
earth moles that are delighted in cceno, not in coclo* all company is 
alike to them ; but a Christian will here converse with such as he shall be 
with hereafter, and the saints have found much help this way. Even Saul, 
in the company of prophets, became a prophet ; and the most earthly man 
that is amongst good men, in good discourse, will suit himself to them ; 
and indeed good discourse is of much avail this way, if it be frequent as it 
should be. I enforce it not as a duty to be done at all times, but it should 
be oftener than it is. 

dd Direct. Thirdly, Use such means as are of force to subdue the hindrances 
of this disposition. Such as are lusts of youth, which ought to be tamed by 
fasts, and such watchfulness that may make us at the length wise ; for so 
far as we overcome our lusts, so far we have our conversation in heaven ; 
and therefore we must often in private watch, and in private pray ; as the 
Scripture saith, we must watch unto prayer. 

4:th Direct. Fourthly, Use much meditation. Be ever setting our minds 
something to this end, that our affections may be wrought upon, to forsake 
the world with detestation, and to love and embrace heaven ; and for this 
duty we ought to redeem some time continually. Thus principally Enoch 
walked with God ; and David, though a king, meditated in God's law day 
and night. 

5th Direct. And from this duty, let us he brour/ht to a holy use of soliloquies ; 
checking and shaming ourselves for following these pleasures, for unthank- 
fulness and want of cheerfulness, as David, ' Why art thou cast down 
my soul, why art thou so disquieted ?' Ps. xhi. 5. By these recollections 
a Christian is indeed himself, and for the present even seated in heaven. 

Qth Direct. In the last place, besides ejaculations, use daily a set prayer ; 
for thereby we ascend into heaven, and are fitted thereby to be more and 
more heavenly. It is the trade of citizens that make them rich. This is 
our ti'ade, to trade by prayer with that heavenly city, where our treasure 
is, and by it we shall grow daily in riches. Thus is our soul strengthened 
and our affections stirred up to converse with God, and thus come we to 
set our faith in heaven, together with our love, where our Father is, where 
angels and saints, our city and eternal happiness, is. Thus is our hope 
strengthened, which carries us through all afflictions undauntedly, and so 
is a heaven to us before heaven ; and thus are our desires in heaven, to 
be at rest, to be with Christ, which is best of all. 

Obj. But some will say. We cannot always intendf such things as these, 
we have our callings, and are busied about earthly matters and cares. 

Ans. 1. I answer : True it is, yet in the use of these things, we may be 
heavenly minded ; for God in mercy appoints us callings, to busy our minds 
about, which else would be delving in the idle pleasures of sin : only he 
requires, that we in the first place ' seek for heaven.' We shall not con- 
tinue here, but we are ti'avelling still ; and therefore it is good for us ever 
to redeem some time for heaven, that we may come with more speed to our 
journey's end. 

2, Secondly, As a help to us, he hath left us his Sabbaths, in pity to our 

* That is, with the filth of earth, uot with heaven. — G. 
t That is, ' attend.' — G. 


souls, which else would altogether be rooting in the earth. Let us have a 
care of the well spending of them ; for by this we pay homage to heaven, 
and are put in mind thereof. 

3. Thirdly, Every day redeem some time for meditation of the vanity of this 
world. Hereby will our untunable souls be still set in tune ; and for our 
callings, every day sanctify them by prayer, and then all is clean. 

4. Fourthly, Go about them as in obedience to God, knowing that God hath 
placed us in these callings, and he looks for service in employing those 
talents bestowed on us, and in our serving one another. And let us 
endeavour to shew what our religion is, in avoiding the corniptions of our 
callings. Labour also to see God in everything, in crossing us, in encourag- 
ing and assisting lis ; and this will stir us up accordingly to pray continually, 
and in all things to give thanks ; and it will make us fear always, for the 
same care and love of God that brings us to heaven, doth guide us in our 
particular actions and callings. And in other matters use ourselves so as 
we by these things raise our minds on high, for there is a double use of 
the creatures. First, temporal, and from thence a spiritual use is raised. 
Thus did Christ. By considering water he was raised to think of spiritual 
regeneration and washing ; and thus we should do, labour to see God in 
his creatures, and thus shall we help our souls by our bodies. God will have 
it thus, and therefore setteth down heavenly things in earthly comparisons, 

Ith Direct. Lastly, We must endeavour to make a spiritucd use of all things 
as God doth. Doth God send crosses on us ? Then before they leave us 
beg a blessing, that they may work his intended effect in bettering us. 
Doth God bless us with prosperity ? Pray that God would sanctify it to 
encourage us on to good duties, so as in all estates we may have our con- 
versation in heaven. Let no man therefore make pretence that he is poor, 
that he hath no time for this. No. Grace works matter out of everything. 
Poor Paul, nay, Paul a prisoner, see how he is busied ; and the truth 
is, that worldly prosperity is the greatest enemy to a heavenly mind that 
can be, 

Obj. But the weak Christian will complain that he cannot find this in 
him, but he is still carried away with worldly matters. Though he strive 
against it never so much, yet the world goes away with him. 

Ans. To such I answer. Strength of grace this way is not in every 
Christian, neither is it at the first. Paul had his distractions, Kom. vii. from 
ver. 15 to ver; 24, yet must our labours and endeavours be that way. The sin 
that is in us cannot hurt us if we strive against it. God suffers his children 
to see their weakness, as he did deal with Solomon, to humble us and 
make us learn his lesson, that all ' is vanity and vexation of spirit.' Let 
not such therefore be discouraged, but cheerfully go on in a good course, 
wherein the 7nore ive labour and strive, the more toe heaxdify religion, and 
credit our city, and draw on others to be fellow-citizens with us. 

And thus shall we free ourselves from terrors of conscience, and from 
the snares of the devil, even as birds when they soar aloft need fear no 
snares. Thus also shall we get a portion here, for it is the promise of the 
God of truth, that if we first seek the kingdom of heaven, all these things 
shall be cast upon us. Thus also shall we be sure of God's gracious and 
faithful protection, who hath said he will keep us in our ways. 

And lastly. Thus shall we end our days with comfort. Woe be to him 
that dies not to the world before he goes hence. Bat to him that hath hia 
soul in heaven, even while it is in his body, this life is but a pilgi-image, 
and death is advantasre. 


From whence we also hoh for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. 
These words lay down such an estate of a Christian, as is both a cause 
and a sign of heavenly conversation ; and in them we may consider, first, 
That Christ is in heaven. Secondly, That there is a second coming of 
Christ. Thirdly, That Christians expect it. Fourthly, That this expecta- 
tion is a cause of heavenly carriage. 

For the first, that Christ is in heaven, we have the Scripture to warrant 
it, but the text is pregnant herein. We look for him from heaven, ergo 
he is in heaven. 

And therefore it is a gross conceit of the papists, that dream that his 
body is everywhere in the bread, or xvith the bread, as the Lutherans would 
have it. The Scripture determines that the heavens must contain him ; 
that he sitteth now on the right hand of God ; that he shall hereafter come 
to judge, and therefore he is not now here ; nay, because he is not here he 
sent us the Comforter, the Spirit, that shall lead us into all truth, as he 
himself expressly saith, John xvi. 13. 

Secondly, Hence we may observe, that there is another coming of Christ, 
which yet is not fuJfUed. There is a twofold coming of Christ, one whereby 
he comes in the flesh. This was his first coming. The second coming is 
in triumph, when he shall perfect our salvation. This appeareth by the 
desires of the creature, Rom. viii. 37, seq. Secondly, By the faithful 
desires of his children, which cannot be in vain. Thirdly, To this end he 
took our flesh to draw us after him. Fourthly, To this end he left his 
Spirit with us to testify it. Lastly, He hath left us his promises and pro- 
phecies thereof, witnessed by the angels : Acts i. 11, ' This Jesus shall so 
come, even as you have seen him go into heaven.' 

Thu'dly, That Christians do expect this coming of CJirist is evident out 
of the words, ' from whence we look for the Saviour,' saith the text. The 
word 'look' signifies an earnest expectation, implying faith, hope, and 
patience.* Faith is a ground of hope, supposing the promises which are 
grounded on an almighty God of truth. Now patience comes from hope, 
so as the word implies thus much. We hope, we believe, we patiently 
wait for the second coming of Christ. This is the disposition of every 
sound Christian, and it begins with the beginning of our new birth ; for so, 
1 Peter i. 3, it is said, ' We are begotten to a lively hope ;' and Titus ii. 13, 
' The grace of God once appearing, teacheth to look for the blessed hope.' 
Reason 1. For as in nature the seed desires growth, everything desires 
perfection, so much more in grace. Where once it is settled it continually 
desireth a more perfect estate, until the coming of Christ, when it cometh 
to the top and pitch thereof. 

Reason 2. Secondly, Tliere is such a relation hetivixt Christ and us, we 
being contracted to him here, as there is a continual longing for the consum- 
mation of this marriage ; even as the time between the contract and the 
marriage is a continual longing. 

Reason 3. Thirdly, Our estate here is a warring and lahorioits estate, 
and a painful service, and therefore what marvel if a sabbath, a peaceable, 
victorious, and triumphant estate, be sweet and to be desired ? 

Use. Hence we may learn that the estate of the children of God here is 
imperfect, for they are under hope of a better estate. Before Christ's time 
they expected the first coming of Christ. So it is said of Abraham, that 
he longed to see Christ's day. Now after Christ's first coming, we look 

* The original is, s^ o5 xal eMrri^a aitixhi'^oiiiQa Kv^iov 'lyisouv X^iGrov, 
on which cf. Bishop Ellicott, with his rofereuces. — G. 


after liis second coming, when we shall be perfected ; and thus the souls in 
heaven are in expectation of a further happiness. 

Use 2. And this is the reason of the contrarieties of estate that are in a 
Christian. He rejoices because he is under hope, but he sorrows because 
he hath not already obtained the thing he hopeth for. He rejoiccth because 
of his assurance, but sorroweth because of the crosses he daily meets with ; 
rejoiceth in the communion of saints, but * woe is me that I dwell in 
Mesech,' Psa. cxx. 5, We are kings, but over rebels ; prophets, but have 
much ignorance, for we see but in part ; priests, but are daily polluted with 
the soil of this world, and therefore do stand in need of continual washin". 

Use 3. Thirdly, lids expectation is not only a xi-ork of ours, hnt a grace 
wrought in us hy Christ, by virtue of the covenant : for God fits us with 
graces that have reference to our future happiness ; and it arises from love 
and patience, grounded upon assurance of an end and glorious issue. Christ 
knew we were to meet with enemies, and therefore gives us hope as an 
helmet and an anchor to keep us from shipwreck ; for he is a saviour as 
well in saving us here from despair, as hereafter from hell. 

Use 4. This, lastly, may serve /or a trial of our estates : for many that 
think themselves to be good Christians, think with Peter ' it is good being 
here,' Mat. xvii. 4 ; it is good for them to be in this world. They fear the 
coming of Christ. The very thought thereof destroys all their mirth. It 
is to them like the handwriting on the wall to Belshazzar. The child of 
God is of another disposition. He is begotten to this hope : his desire is 
accordingly ; his endeavour and labour is by any means to attain to the 
resurrection of the dead, Philip, iii. 11. 

Ohj. But it will be said, that it is often seen that good Christians do not 
always desire the coming of Christ. 

Ans. To which I answer. It is true ; but it is caused by their careless 
carriage. And yet, ever there is a spirit in them, to endeavour to do some- 
thing that may prepare for his coming. But a strong Christian hath ever 
this desire ; and if he be a mortified and growing Christian, he never wants 
this hope, and comfort, and earnest longing : and therefore his prayer ever 
is, ' Come, Lord Jesus.' 

Fourthly, We may observe out of the words, where this hope is, and this 
expectation, it stirs vp and quickens the soul to a holy conrersation. It 
is propounded here as a ground of the apostle's holy conversation. 

For it stirs us up to he pure, even as he is pure, as it is 1 John iii. 3. 
For we are a holy spouse, and there will shortly come the marriage-day ; 
and fitting it is that we prepare ourselves fitting for such a husband. Thus 
it was with the concubines of Ahasuerus. Though a temporal and earthly 
king, yet the custom was, they should be twelve months before they came 
to the king, Esther ii. ; and much more should it be our duty, evermore 
to be prepared to come into the presence of our eternal, heavenly King, to 
meet with the bridegroom ; because we know not how soon it may be that 
he will come, and send his angels for us to appear before him in glory, to 
call us to the wedding. 

Secondly, This hope will stir us up to do all good duties, and to right 
performance of good duties ; to do all things sincerely, as in the presence 
of God our judge. And therefore, not only the duty of preaching is urged 
upon Timothy, but the manner, 2 Tim. iv. 2, who is charged by the Lord 
Jesus Christ, who shall judge all at his appearing, that he should ' preach 
the word : be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with 
all long-sufierance.' And the apostle Peter having declared the second 


coming of Christ, thence infers, ' What manner of men ought we to be in 
all godly conversation,' 2 Pet. iii. 11. And indeed, meditation of the prin- 
ciples of religion will inform us well in the manner of our duties, as in the 
nature of them ; and thus shall we be fruitful in particulars, according as 
our meditations are directed, though the principal matters and objects of 
our meditation are but few. 

Thirdly, This hope and expectation will stir us up to pray for the con- 
summation and bruK/iuff to j^ass the performance of all those promises ivhich 
are to he performed before the coming of Christ, as that the gospel should be 
preached in all places ; that the conversion of the Jews might be hastened, 
and the downfall of antichrist might speedily come to pass. And this hope 
will also encourage us and put us forward, that in our several callings and 
standings, we should help on the performance of them as much as is in our 
power to perform, by helping on the building of the church and the en- 
largement of Christ's kingdom, and the confusion of his enemies. 

Lastly, This hope will ivork in us a sweet and comfortable carriage in all 
estates and conditions, carrying us through all imp)ediments with courage. 
For ' yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not 
tarry,' Heb. x. 37, and he will come full handed. ' My reward is with me,' 
saith Christ ; and lest we should think it long before he comes, he told us 
long ago that those were the latter days, and that the ends of the world 
were then come upon them. Do men, then, molest us, persecute, and vex 
us ? Let us be comforted. He comes that will tread all our enemies 
under our feet. Do we find that we have but short spirits, that our graces 
are but weak ? Let us not dishearten ourselves. He that keeps heaven 
for us will give us necessary graces to bring us thither. If we want, go to 
the God of faith and love. He hath promised to give us his Spirit, to make 
all grace abound in us, never to leave us nor forsake us till he hath per- 
fected his work, in setting us with him in glory. 

But to proceed to the object of this expectation, it is Christ who is 
described unto us by the Saviour, whom he calls also Jesus, which, signi- 
fies a Saviour; and this he doth to impress it the deeper into his affections. 

Quest. But some may say, Christ hath saved us already. What need is 
there, therefore, of his second coming ? 

A71S. I answer. It is to perfect our salvation. For redemption of our 
bodies and glorious liberty are reserved to his second coming. We look 
not that he should die any more, but appear as a Lord of glory in glory, 
without humiliation for sin, having already gotten victory of it. 

Doct. The observation is, that Christ is a Saviour, and the Saviour by way 
of excellency. He saves all that are of his mystical body from all evil, and 
preserves them to all good. He saves their bodies and their souls now 
from the power of all evil, and hereafter he will free them from all evil. He 
is the everlasting Saviour. While we live here his blood runs continually. 
This is the 'fountain opened for the house of Judah for sin and uncleanness,' 
Zech. xiii. 1. In it are we cleansed from the guilt and damnation of sin. 
What would we have more ? * We are kept by faith to salvation,' 1 Peter 
i. 5. Let this raise up our souls. Are we swallowed up with the sense 
of any misery ? Let us know that we trust a Saviour that is every way 
absolute, that invites those that are sick with sin to come unto him ; and 
* how can we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ?' Heb. ii. 3. Away, 
therefore, with all popish conceits of meriting by our works. All glory 
must be given only to his mercy ; all that he did for us was to the glory 
of his grace, Eph. i. G. 


Lastly, This should comfort us ivhen ive think of the last day, to think 
withal, that he shall be our judge that is our Saviour, and therefore should 
cast away all terror from us, knowing that our head will not destroy his 
members, but that he our husband being a great king, will also crown us 
his spouse with a glorious crown. Therefore, when we see the foregoing 
eigns come to pass, ' let us lift up our heads, knowing our redemption 
draweth near,' Luke xxi. 28. 

To go on, in the next place : Christ is not only our Saviour, ' but he is 
our Lord,' wherein we may see the apostle's Christian wisdom. Ho useth 
such titles as may most of all strengthen his faith and afiection of the pre- 
sent meditation, which being a point of the resurrection, a thing seemin" 
contrary to reason, to flesh and blood, he strengthens himself in this con- 
sideration, that he ' is the Lord,' who hath all power and authority com- 
mitted to him. Mat. xxviii. 18. 

Secondly, He is Lord by title of redemption, so as we are no more our own, 
but his ; for he hath bought us with a price. 

Thirdly, He is Lord of the world, and of the devil by conquest, Heb. ii. 14. 

Fourthly, He is Lord over his church by marriage. He is our husband, 
governing his church with sweetness and love. 

He is also the Lord by way of excellency above others, depending on no 
creature. He is ' Lord of lords.' 

Secondly, He is Lord of body raid soul and conscience, punishing with 
terrors here and damnation hereafter. 

Thirdly, He is Lord eternal. He endures for ever, and cannot die. 

Fourthly, He is such a Lord as cannot abuse his authority. He cannot 
tyrannise. His grace and virtue are of equal extent with his power. 

Fifthly, He is a holy Lord. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth, 
that is. Lord of hosts, Kev. iv. 8. 

In all these he is far above any earthly man, yea, above all creatures. 
And therefore it is a sweet estate to be under government and rule. They 
then that are lords here on earth must consider, thouyh they rule and are above 
others, yet they are under the Lord. Thus did Joseph. Therefoi'e they must 
rule, ' but in the Lord.' It is his will that must rule their wills. 

Secondly, This should comfort Christians, that they have such a Lord as 
is Lord of angels, at whom the devils tremble ; whom storms, winds, seas, 
sickness, death, and all creatures do obey. Yet we cannot challenge this 
comfort, but upon condition of our obedience. The apostle joins Lord and 
Saviour together, to shew that he is a Saviour only to those that take him 
for their Lord to govern and rule them. As he is our priest, he must also 
be our king. He comes by water to purge and wash us, as well as by blood 
to sutler for us. The wicked 'they will not have this man rule over them, 
but they shall not say nay. God will be a Lord over them, ruling by his 
power ; with a rod of iron he will bruise them in pieces, none shall deliver 
them. If we will avoid this miserable estate, let us make him Lord in us. 
Thus shall we crown him, and then he will crown us with himself. 

VERSE 21. 

Who shall change our vile body. 

The words are plain, and shall need no exposition ; therefore we will 
briefly come to the doctrines. 

Doct. 1. And first, We may observe hence that our bodies are base ; and 


thus are the bodies not only of wicked profane men, but of the servants and 
dearest children of God ; all are vile. And that in these respects. 

First, In life our original is base. We are dust, and to dust we must 
return, Gen. iii. 19 ; and our continuance is full of change, subject to 
diversity of estates, sickness, health, pain, ease, hunger, fulness. And 
base we are, because we are upheld by inferior creatures. We enter into 
the world by one way, but go out by divers deaths ; some violent, some 
more natural, and by divers sicknesses loathsome to the eyes, to the 
nostrils, and especially when we are nearest our end, whenas our counte- 
nance is pale, our members tremble, all our beauty is gone. But after we 
are departed, so loathsome is this our carcase, it must be had out of sight ; 
yea, though it be the body of the patriarch Abraham,* Gen. xxiii. 4. For 
as the body of man is the best temper, so the corruption thereof is the 
most vile. The best couutenauces of the greatest personages are the most 
ugly, ghastly objects of all others, by so much the more, by how much they 
were the more excellent ; so much the greater is their change. And yet 
are we not to conceive of this body so as though there were no glory 
belonging to it ; for, first, it is God's workmanship, therefore excellent, and 
so excellent as the heathen man Galen, being stricken into admiration at the 
admirable frame thereof, breaks out into a hymn in praise of the Maker (bb). 
And David could not express it, but says, ' I am wonderfully made,' Ps. 
exxxix. 14. God made this his last work, as an epitome of all the rest. 

Secondly, We are told that we owe glory to our bodies ; and therefore we 
are bidden that we should not wrong our bodies ; and the Scripture speaks 
infamously of self-murderers, as of Judas, Saul, Ahithophel. They are 
branded M-ith a note of shame and reproach. And God, to shew the respect 
we owe to our bodies, hath provided to every sense pleasing recreations, as 
flowers for the smell, light for the eyes, music for the ear ; to be brief, he 
made all things for the bodily use of man. 

Thirdly, These bodies of ours are members of Christ, redeemed and 
sanctified temples of the Holy Ghost, as well as of our souls. And there- 
fore we must take heed, v/hen we read of the base teims that are given to 
the body, that we do not mistake. For it is true in regard it keeps the soul 
from heaven, it is the grave of the soul ; but indeed it is the house, the 
temple and instrument of the soul. But being misused, it proves an unto- 
ward dark house, an unwieldy instrument. 

We are to take heed, therefore, of the error of those who afflict it by 
writing and declaiming against it, or by whipping]of it, when, alas ! it is the 
sin of the soul, the unruly lusts and affections, that are the causes of all 
rebellions in us ; and if the body doth rebel, as often it doth come to pass 
since the fall, this proceeds from the corruption of the soul yielding to the 
body aid to serve the lusts ; and God hath appointed a religious abstinence 
as a means to tame such lusts and weaken them, which it were to be wished 
were used oftener than it is. 

Quest. But it will be said, Are the bodies of Christians base, for whom 
Christ shed his most precious blood ? 

Ans. I answer, While we live here, we are in no better condition than 
others, as concerning our bodies. Hezekiah is sick ; Lazarus hath his 
sores ; David and Job troubled with loathsome diseases ; and thus it is 
fitting it should fare with us. 

For, first, Christ laid us this example. He took our base, ragged nature 
on him. He hungered and thirsted, was pained, and death had a little 
* Qu. 'Sarah'? -Ed. 


power over him. And shall we desire a better estate than our master, onr 
head, had? or do we ever think to partake with him in happiness, that will 
not partake with him in his mean estate ? The decree of God is, that to 
dust we must, as all the rest of our fellow-saints and servants shall. 

Secondly, Hereby God doth exercise our faith and hope ; causing us to 
look and expect a better resurrection ; and by this means are our desires 
edged to a better life, for else would we set up our rest here, and make this 
our paradise. 

Thirdly, As yet there is sin in us ; from the danger whereof, though we 
be delivered, yet there is a corruption that remaineth behind in us ; and 
by this he will teach us the contagion of sin, and teach us to see how the 
devil hath deceived us, by the effects thereof bringing pain, torment, and 

Fourthly, It shews God's ivisdom in vanquishing sin hij death, which is 
the child of sin ; for by it shall we be purged from sin, from corruption 
both of body and mind, and thus is our base estate made a way to our 
excellent estate hereafter. 

We must therefore moderate our affections to the best things of this life. 
Health is changeable, and will not continue. Beauty is a flower of a stalk. 
The flower quickly fades away and perisheth. The stalk that is more base 
continues longest. Flesh is grass, either cut down by violent death ; or if 
by age, the longer it lives the baser it is, and increases continually therein 
till death, whenas it is most base. 

It is therefore foolish for any to swell hecause of beauty or strengtli, which 
at the best are but curious- excellencies of a base body ; and far more sottish 
are they that think to resist old age and God's decree, by trimming up and 
painting a withered stock. This is not the way to conquer vileness. But 
if we will be rid thereof, labour for the meat that perisheth not, John vi. 27 
But that which maketh us endure to everlasting life is, with Mary, to choose 
the ' better part, that shall not be taken away.' ' Meat for the belly, and 
the belly for meat : but God shall destroy both the one and the other,' 
1 Cor. vi. 13. 

And let this be as a cooler, to quench the base wildfire of love ; and con- 
sider what is it we so affect.f It is but beautiful dust, a painted sepulchre, 
a body that after death will be vileness itself, that while it breathes it is 
full of rottenness, the matter of worms, supported it may be by a carrion 
soul, that whether it willeth or nilleth+ must leave it and go into a far worse 

And contrarily, in the last place, it should teach us to he at a jjoiiit,^ 
cheerfulhj to honour God by sacrificing ourselves to him. irhen he calls for us. 
Count it no shame with David to be vile in the eyes of men for God's cause. 
If the worst could be imagined, which cannot be, we had as good perish 
with usage as with rust. But this is the only way to be glorious, to avoid 
vileness, even to sacrifice our bodies and all in a good causa. What though 
the world esteem vilely of us, as good for nothing but the shambles, Rom. 
viii. 3G ; shall we fear them ? No. Fear him that can destroy both body 
and soul. It is better to go to heaven without a limb, than io go to hell 
■with a sound healthful body. Therefore when temptations of tae world do 
begin to provoke thee, say to thy flesh with Bernard, Stay thy time ; the 
time is not yet to be happy (cc). 

And therefore, to conclude, our soid is but a stranger here ; ive must enter- 

« That is, ' nice.'— G. t That ig, = willeth not.— Ed. 

t That is, 'choose,' 'love.'— G. § That is, = a resolution.— G. 

VOL. V, K 


tain it tcell into this house of on)- body. It is but a guest, use it not basely. 
It is no ill guest. It gives us sight, taste, speech, motion. When it goes 
away, our body is but a dumb, dull, base lump of earth. Nay, when it is 
gone, whilst the body is in the ground, the soul having a most vehement 
and earnest desire to be knit to it again, puts God continually in mind of 
raising it up at the last day of the general resurrection, and of glorifying it 
in a holy, eternal, and happy estate. 

2. Secondly, Out of the words we may observe, that these rile bodies of 
ours shall be chaiu/ed. This we receive as an article of our faith ; and yet 
were it believed truly as it ought, it would work a strange alteration in the 
minds and manners of men, contrary to that they are now; and howsoever 
it is not embraced, yet it remains a grounded truth, that these bodies of 
ours, sown in corruption, shall rise incorruptible, 1 Cor. i. 15. It was 
foretold in way of consequence in paradise ; for the head of the serpent 
could not be broken but by conquering death, which is the last enemy. 
It was figured out unto us in Aaron's dead sear rod that budded, and 
Jonah's deliverance out of the belly of the fish, where he had been three 
days and three nights. It was believed of all the fathers, Heb. xii. 1, seq. 
And for security before the flood Enoch, and after the flood Elias, were 
taken up in their bodies. 

And besides, it is not contrary to reason. I do not say that reason can 
reach unto it. For Christ he is alive still. The dust whereof we are made, 
and whither we go is preserved. It is not annihilated. And why cannot 
Clirist raise a body out of the dust, as at the first make it out of dust. 
Why should he not be as able to quicken dust now as at the first ? and 
especially, seeing the soul is reserved in heaven to this end, till the day of 
his second coming. 

Nay, it is not contrary to the course of nature. We see every year sum- 
mer comes out of winter, day out of night, youth out of infancy, man's 
age out of youth. And the apostle in the Corinthians, ' Thou fool, the 
corn is not quickened except it die,' 1 Cor. xv. 36. Nay, we see what 
strange changes are daily wrought by art ; and shall we think God's 
almighty power cannot work far more strange eflects ? 

Use. The use therefore is to instruct us if we believe that Christ shall 
change these vile bodies, then sure the same bodies shall rise that died ; for 
chanr/e is of qualities, it abolisheth not substances. And therefore Job's 
confidence herein is remarkable. Job xix. 26, ' Whom I shall see for my- 
self, and mine eyes shall behold,' speaking of Christ; so is it, 1 Cor. xv. 
63, ' This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put 
on immortalit}^' and the ancient creeds had, credo resurrcctioncm. carnis hnjns. 
Secondly, It is very unequal that one body shoidd honour or defile itself, 
and another body should be honoured or damned. It is comfortable there- 
fore to us that love our bodies and honour them, that they shall rise again 
and we shall enjoy them for ever. 

Thirdly, Christ our surety he raised the same body that was crucified ; and 
therefore the same bodies here that fulfil the measure of the sufferings of 
Christ here, shall partake of his fulness in glory. 

Use 2. A second use is for comfort. Is this a life of changes ? Let it not 
daunt us, but know they are all to end in glory, and they all tend to bring 
us thither. We ever change for the better, and the last change of all is 
the best of all. And therefore let us endure these changes with a light 

Use 3. In the third place, Who is the author of this change in us ? The 


text saith that * Christ shall chanf^e iis.' John vi. 39 and 40, ' I will raise 
them up at the last day,' saith Christ, of those that know him and believe 
on him. He is furthermore our head. Now we know the body must be 
conformable to the head. If it be crowned the body is crowned ; and 
therefore, Rom. viii. 11, the apostle saith, that if the Spirit dwell in us 
that did dwell in him, the Spirit that raised him up will raise us up also. 

Tliirdl}^ Christ is a icliole Sarioio: He therefore will raise up our bodies 
as well [as] our souls ; for he is the Saviour of both. He hath delivered 
both from hell ; he will raise up both to heaven. 

Fourthly, He is the second Adam. As we did bear the image of the first 
Adam in corruption, so must we bear the image of the second Adam in 

Fifthly, He is the seed of the ivoman, that must break the serpent's 
head ; and therefore he must work this change. 

Sixthly, Christ changed his oivn hudy, being burdened with all our sins ; 
and therefore, as an exemplary cause, shall much more raise us up. For 
sin being once overcome, which is the sting of death, what can keep us in 
the grave ? 

Use 1. Let this strengthen our faith in the consideration that we have 
such a strong Saviour, that nothing shall be able to separate us from his 
love, nor to take us out of his hand. 

Use 2. Secondly, Malce it a ground hoio to direct us how to honour our 
bodies; not making them instruments of sin against him, but so to use 
them, that we may with comfort and joy expect and desire his coming to 
change these vile bodies. 

Use 3. Thirdly, Let us labour to assure otirselves of our parts in this 
change, in this resurrection. This we shall know ii we find Christ's Spirit 
in tcs. The same Spirit that raised up him, if it be in us, will raise us up 
also, Rom. viii. 11. For the first resurrection is an argument of the 
second ; and he that finds his understanding enlightened, his will pliable, 
his affections set upon right objects, w^ill easily believe the second resur- 
rection of his body. Secondl}'', If tve hope for this change, and so hope 
that we are stirred up thereby to fit ourselves for it, to cleanse ourselves. 
Thirdly, If we grotv in grace, 2 Pet. iii. 18, it is a sign that we have an 
entrance into Christ's kingdom ; for Grod doth ever honour growth, with 
assurance of a blessed estate. 

Use 4. Fourthly, Tliis should comfort us in time of death, considering 
we lose nothing but baseness, and our bodies are but sown in the earth ; 
and this dcpositum which God committeth to the fu'e, air, earth, and the 
water, they must render up again pure and changed by Christ. And, 
therefore, it was a foolish conceit of the heathen to burn the martyrs' 
bodies, and to cast their ashes into the water, thereby to put them out of 
hope of their resurrection, not knowing God is as able to raise them out of 
fire and water as out of earth. 

Use 5. Fifthly, This ought 1o administer comfort to ?/s at the death and 
departure of our friends out of this life, knowing that they are not lost ; that 
the earth is but a house and a hiding-place for them to sleep in ; and that at 
length God will not forget to raise them up with the residue of his saints. 
He will change them, and make them like his glorious body ; and this was 
the use made by the apostle, 1 Thes. iv. 18. 

Use 6. And lastly. Pray to God to teach tis to number our days, so as we 
may apply our hearts to wisdom, Deut. xxxii. 29.* But when is the time 
* Qu. <P3. xc. 12'?— G. 


of this blessed change ? It is not laid down, only it is implied by the word 
* shall,' that the time is to come. But out of all (Question it is meant at the 
last day, and not before. 

First, Because all are to he r/athercd torjcthcr, even those that were buried 
four thousand years agone, must stay till the number be fulfilled ; and it 
will make for God's glory that we should all meet together to attend on 
him, with multitudes of angels, so as they cannot be perfected without or 
before us, and we shall not prevent those that are asleep, 1 Thes. iv. 15. 

Secondly, It is for the comfort of Christians that are weak, that the martyrs 
and constant professors of Christ should be pledges of their rising, who 
continually cry, ' How long, Lord ?' Kev. vi. 9. 

Thirdly, God ivills that thiufjs should now he carried as in a cloud, and that 
the last day should be a day of revelation ; which could not be, if before 
there should be this change. 

For use. This must teach us to desire that day, and pray for the hastening 
thereof; till when, the souls in heaven are not perfectlj' hfi^ppy- ^or all 
must be brought in before they can be made perfect. And therefore they 
desire and hope for, and pray for, to be united to those bodies again, that 
they lived withal, and so dearly loved. 

But who are these that shall be thus changed ? The text saith, ' our 
bodies ;' that is, our bodies that have had ' our conversation in heaven.' 
And, therefore, those that have had no part in the first resurrection, they 
shall have no part in the second. The baker and butler of Pharaoh all 
shall arise and be lifted out of prison, but some to the resurrection of 
life, and others to the resurrection of condemnation. But to proceed. 

That tve may he fashioned like unto his ylorious hody. 

So that Christ shall be the exemplary cause, as well as the efiicient 
cause of our resurrection. For he is our head and our husband ; and it is 
reason we should be suitable to him, and be ruled by him. He came not 
to make himself like us, but us like him. He first must be a king, blessed 
and anointed, and a Son. The head makes us like to him, kings, blessed 
and glorious. Enoch and Elias, though before his real incarnation, yet 
they ascended by virtue of his resurrection, and so shall we. They are 
glorious like to him ; so shall we in his good time and pleasure. 

Quest. But how ? 

Ans. I answer, In these particulars : 

First, As he is immortal, never to die again, so shall we. We shall be 
freed from all sin ; and so, consequently, from all mortality. 

Secondly, We shall be incorrupiihle. We shall have no corruption within 
us or without us, as it is, 1 Cor. xv. 53. We shall be embalmed with the 
Spirit, that shall cause us to remain for ever incorruptible. 

Thirdly, We shall be unchanyeahle ; always the same, without sickness 
of body, or indisposeduess of mind. 

Then, in the fourth place, we shall be in jjerfect strength. Here we con- 
tract to ourselves weakness by every little thing, as alteration of air, study, 
and the like ; there the body shall be enabled to every thing. But here 
we are weak, unfit, and soon weary of any duty, soon tired in prayer, 
weary in hearing, so as even Moses his arms must be supported, Exod. 
xvii. 12, 

Fifthly, We shall have beauty and comeliness, the most lovely com- 
plexion and proportion of parts. Thei-e sball be no dregs in our body: all 
shall be. spent by death ; far better than after physic, which notwithstand- 


ing brings the body into a quiet repose. All wants shall be supplied. 
What is misplaced shall be reduced into right order. And therefore, what 
though we lose limbs for Christ's sake, he will not be indebted to us; none 
shall go thither maimed. 

Ohj. But some will say, Christ himself retained wounds after his resur- 
rection, and therefore much more shall we be imperfect. 

Alls. I answer, This was a voluntary dispensation. He suffered them 
to appear for the faith of Thomas, not of necessity. 

SixlhJi/, These bodies of ours sJiall he spiyitaal, as it is 1 Cor. xv. 53, seq. 
A natural body is upheld by natural means, as meat, drink, physic, but 
then shall there be no need of such things. Christ shall be all in all to us. 
And again, our body shall obey the spirit. Now the body keeps the spirit 
in slavery, but then shall it readily yield to every motion of the spirit. 
The vbiqaitaries^ when they speak of the spirituality of Christ's body, they 
would have it in all places. But they may as well conclude, because we 
shall have spiritual bodies, therefore our bodies also shall be in all places 
like to Christ's body. The ground of the glory of these bodies shall be 
the beatifical vision, and our union with Chx'ist. If our beholding him 
here in his ordinances be of such a power as to transform us from glory to 
glory, 2 Cor. iii. 18, what a change shall be wrought in us when we shall 
see him as he is ! And if his first coming had that power to make all 
things new, 2 Cor. v. 17, much more when he cometh the second time in 
glory shall he make all things new and glorious. 

I'ae 1. This therefore, in the first place, should cncourarje ns in all causes 
of dismay and trouble, rather than we will offend God to^lose our bodies, 
knowing that we give them to God, and shall receive them again with ad- 

Use 2, Secondh'', Labour we to make our bodies instrwnents of his honour, 
that honours us ; and let us honour our bodies wherein are the seeds of 
immortality, and glory in so using them as that they be carried to the grave 
with honour. 

Us3 3. Let us also honour the bodies of the deceased saints of God, and the 
places of their sepuHnre, as cabinets wherein the precious dust of the holy 
saints are laid up in keeping. 

Use 4. And let us not be like them without faith, that thinh the bodies 
are last for ever that are cast into the grave ; like children seeing the silver 
cast into the furnace, think it utterly cast away, till they see it come out 
again a pure vessel. 

Us? 5. And when we die, let us not trouble our minds with the discomfort- 
able thoughts of iwrms, rottenness, darkness, and the like ; but with the eye 
of faith let us look beyond these, on the haven whither we are going. 
This made Job, though covered all over with ulcers, to say with a cheer- 
ful heart, ' My Redeemer liveth, though after my skin worms consume 
this flesh,' Job xix. 26. 

Use 6. If ive nrint limbs to our bodies, to comfort ourselves, the resurrec- 
tion will restore all things. 

Use 7. Furthermore, Let us serve here tvith our best endeavours. It is 
but a while, and it shall not be in vain. Is it not better thus to do and 
partake of this blessed change, than to spare this vile body, and pamper it 
by sacrificing all, or to employ all our time in the serving and pleasing 
others ; and to that end not to care to prostitute ourselves to all manner of 

* Those. who argue for transuhstantiation, or consuhstantiation, generally main- 
tain the ubiquity of Christ's body. — G. 


filthiness ? Wliat shall we get by these courses ? but at the resurrection 
of the just, ■when we should hft up our heads because our redemption 
draweth nigh, then shall we be overcome with shame, grief, terror, and 
horror of conscience. But happy are we therefore, if in a good course we 
can so resign up ourselves, so as to be resolute with Esther, ' If I perish, 
I perish,' Esther iv. 16 ; ' if I live, I live to Christ ; if I die, I die to him,' 
Phihp. i. 21. What 1 have committed to him he will keep, I am assured 
thereof ; and therefore I will not offend him for any pleasure or profit 
whatsoever. These resolutions had the patriarchs and God's saints, and 
these made them die with comfort. 

According to the working whereby he is alle even to suhdtie all things to 

The word that is translated ' working,' may and doth signify power; and 
so it was translated heretofoi'e, and is to be [so] meant* {dd). But the 
words being plain, we will come to some observations. 

Dod. 1. And first of all observe. That Christ hath a power able to subdue 
all things to himself ; and this he hath by virtue of his office of mediator- 
ship, and this in respect of God to reconcile and appease him. Secondly, 
In respect of opposite powers to overcome all of them. Thirdly, In respect 
of the persons to be saved, that he might free them from all ill, and raise 
them to all happiness ; and these things requires a power that must be 
above all created powers. For God could not be appeased but by an infinite 
price, the blood of one that is God. And we could not be defended from 
sin and hell — whose power is the greatest of all finite power — but by a 
power beyond it ; and such a power as must regenerate and renew us, not- 
withstanding the opposite power of the devil, and our corruptions within us, 
which is a greater work than the work of our creation. And all this he 
hath done. ' He hath subdued him that had the power of death, the devil,' 
Heb. ii. 14. He hath subdued diseases and winds with a word, and with 
a word he smote his enemies to the ground. He hath subdued all ill of 
the body and mind, forgiving sins, opening our hearts, subduing our cor- 
ruptions, and death hath yielded to his power. ' death, I will be thy 

Doct. 2. In the next place, as Christ hath this power, so he will use this 
power for the good of his saints ; and this he will do because whatever Christ 
is, he is for the good of his church. He is powerful, merciful, and loving 
for his church's sake. And secondly. Because our bodies do require it. For 
it must be an infinite power that makes the body of dust. And therefore 
though Christ was the Son of God, declared from the beghming, yet it was 
said he was mightily declared to be the Son of God by his resurrection 
from the dead, Rom. i. 4. For from a privation to a habitf there can be 
no regression by a natural course ; and therefore for our bodies to return 
from dust, must be by a supernatural infinite power of one that is God. 
Let those that are enemies to Christ his members consider this. Against whom 
do ye strive ? even against the Almighty, who in his humiliation was able 
with a word to strike his enemies to the ground ; and now being in glory, 
how fearful and terrible should his power be to such ? who should learn 
betimes to kiss the Son, before they perish in the midway, Ps. ii. 12. And 
for his children, let them comfort themselves that are under the government 
of so powerful a majesty ; for he will bruise all their enemies under them. 
Nay, they are already all conquered. And let them consider of all his 
* That is, ' understood.' — G. t That is, ' a having.' — Ed. 


promises, and apply them to his power. It is a powerful Saviour that 
said, ' Come to me, all yoa that are heavy laden, I will raise you up,' 
Mat. xi. 28. It is he that is able to subdue all things to himself, that 
promises, ' My grace shall be sufficient for you,' 2 Cor. xii. 9. He is a 
prophet, to instruct fully; a priest, to satisfy God's wrath to the. utmost ; 
a king, to subdue all their corruptions. Thirdly, Let this encourage 
us to set ourselves against our corruptioiis. Some there are that having a 
little strove with their lusts, and finding that they have not gotten any 
sensible ground against them, they as out of hope and heart sit down with 
this opinion, ' as good never a whit as not the better,'* and so yield up the 
bucklers. What a distrustful incredulous estate is this ! Is not he God 
that hath promised ? Is he not truth itself ? Hath he said, and shall it 
not come to pass ? Fear not these Anakims nor Canaanites. Depend on 
God in the use of the means, and let him alone with the performance of 
his promises. Fourthly, Despair of none, though never so iveak, so long as 
they use the means ; for Christ hath created all by his word, he will raise 
us up by his word, and will change us by his word ; and by this word he 
is able to change others though never so obstinate. For so long as they 
are under the word and means, they are under the arms of an almighty 
power; and therefore, if any be in our power, or if we wish well to any, we 
should persuade them to prize the word and to use the means. In the 
next place, this is a ground of trial of our estates. Would we know whether 
we are of the number of those that shall be raised up hereafter and changed ? 
Then examine whether we have found this power changing us, and bringing 
us to grace here ; for, Eph. i. 19, 20, the same power worketh in us to 
believe, that raised up Christ. Do we then find our understandings 
enlightened, our wills conformable to his will? Do we find the strong- 
holds of sin in us rased, and new spirits, new thoughts, new desires in us ? 
Oh, these are blessed evidences of Christ's almighty power in us, that will 
raise us up at the last day. 

By this means also ive may try our 'profession. Do we come by faith 
and religion, with pleasure and ease ? Alas ! this is no sign of any power- 
ful strong work in us. It is easy to go to church to hear the word or read 
it, to receive the sacraments. Contrarily, if we find an inward change, 
that our hearts are so altered as we can overrule our members contrary to 
our lusts, and contrary to occasions, then ' stronger is he that ruleth in us 
than he that ruleth in the world,' 1 John iv. 4. It is easy to resist a 
temptation where none is. The mighty power of Christ is seen, when, 
being environed with temptations, we are enabled to resist. I pray, saith 
Christ, that thou should[st ] keep them from evil in the world, and not that 
thou shouldst take them out of the world, John xvii. 15. If we be under 
crosses, if this Spirit and power of Christ be in us, it will enable us to bear 
all patiently, it will keep us from murmuring and fretting. It will^ also 
convince us of our natural estate, so as we shall see evident necessity of 
God's almighty power to change us. This made the apostle Paul and the 
jailor to look about them for help. ' Lord, what wouldst thou have me to 
do ?' And thus it will make us never to give God rest, nor Christ respite, 
till that power that shall raise up our bodies do raise up also our souls, and 
he shine in us by his Spirit that did bring light out of darkness, and fashion 
us as in his wisdom shall be most meet. 

In the next place, the consideration of God's almighty power should 
teach us not to he dejected or cast down at the reports of the afflicted state 

* That is, as good have no success if we are not to have complete success. — Eu. 



of the cJmrch ahroad. It should bring us rather to God, to rely upon 
his goodness and power, for God is ever God almighty, and the same 
merciful God that ever he was ; and therefore, we should pray for the 
church the more instantly, that God would give them beauty instead of 
ashes. We should urge him with his promise of building up and defending 
of his church, and destroying of antichrist ; and let us make the resurrec- 
tion of the body a ground to strengthen us in the belief thereof, as the 
return of the children of Israel from Babylon was scaled by the resurrection 
of the dry bones, Ezek. xxxvii. 1, scq. ; as also the apostle, from the resur- 
rection of the dead, gathereth that God by that power hath and will deliver 
him, 2 Cor. i. 9, lo! 

Furthermore, irheii ice are oppressed icith any extremity, though never so 
yreat, by continual meditation of his jjromises, ice shoidd strengthen ourselves, 
and apply them to our present estate and condition, knowing that he that 
raised us out of dust will not suffer us to be buried in misery, but will with 
the trial give us a gracious issue at the last, by raising up our bodies at 
the last day by his almighty power, which made also the patriarch Abraham 
to hope above hope. What though our helps be few ? It is no matter 
what the instrument is, so as Christ is the chief worker. 

In the next place. This should encourage ns to stand out stedfast in a good 
cause for the truth. Do not think with ourselves, Alas ! I am but one, and 
a weak, silly man : what can I do against a multitude ? Let not such 
thoughts discourage thee. Think of Luther, a poor monk, who alone set 
himself against the whole world, and wrought that effect that we have all 
cause at this day to honour the memory of him. It is not thou, but God 
in thee, that is able to confound all thine enemies ; and therefore, with 
Moses, behold him that is invisible. 

Yet further. This should bo observed by a Christian, as a ground of his 
perseverance to the end ; for when we know we are Christians, what can 
bereave us of our blessings ? what can make our faith fail ? It is God's 
power that will keep us to salvation, and he that believeth shall have life, 
and shall not come into condemnation, John vi. 39, 40, 44, 47, and many 
other places ; and Christ, by his almighty power, sways all our life to our 
building up to salvation ; and therefore in contraries we should believe 
contraries, that death will work life, misery happiness, corruption incor- 
ruption, and this vileness glory ; for it is God's order to work by contraries, 
that his power might the more appear. 

And at the hour of death, then behold him that is thus able and all-suffi- 
cient ; that shall presently glorify our soul, and at length will raise up our 
body also, and unite it to our soul, to partake with it in glory and happi- 
ness ; that will then quit us of all sin, corruption, death, change. All our 
enemies shall be trodden under our foot, and all this by his almighty power, 
whereb}^ he is able to do far above that we are able to think ; and therefore 
let us, with a holy admiration thereof, say with the apostle, Eph. iii. 20, 21, 
' To him be glory for evermore. Amen.' 


{a) P. G4. — ' Doublcrl. . . . Sometime for emphasis sake, as Christ did often, 
"Amen, amen," and "in dying thou shalt die."' The 'Amen, amen' {a.f/,riv, 
dfMrjv) is rendered by ' Verily, verily,' throughout the Gospel of John in our English 


Bible. Cf. i. 51, iii. 3, 5, 11, and frequently. 'Dying Ihou slialt dio' is the more 
literal translation of Gen. ii. 17. 

(b) P. 04. — ' The sacraments. . . . The primitive church had them every Lord's 
day.' This has been matter of controversy in all sections of the church. It 
fills a largo space in ecclesiastical histories. Tlic annotated editions of the Apostolical 
Fathers, in the original and translations, furnish the most satisfactory materials for 
a decision. Cf. also among others. Blunts ' Plistory of the Christian Church during 
the First Three Centuries' ('2d ed., 8vo., 1?57) ; and on the heretical side, Dr Lamson's 
' Church of the First Three Centuries' (Boston, 18G0, 8v'j). 

(c) P. G5. — ' Nay, take heed of these, for so the word in the original is, " these 
dogs." ' The original is rcvg y.ijvac, -which is rather ' the dogs,' == those designated. 
Cf. Bishop Ellicott in loc, and for much quaint lore and vehement denunciation of 
'false teachers,' Airay's Lectures in loc. (4to,, 1G18). 

{d) P. G7.— ' Spira.' Cf. note qq, Vol. III. p. 533. 

(e) P. G9. — ' Bellarmine saith that their government was carnal, . . . but it is 
carnally spolcen of him.' The reference is to the Mosaic ritual and service, which 
Bellarmine empties of their spiritual significance. 

(/) P. 80. — ' Bucer.' Martin Bucer, born 1491, died 1551, an eminent Eeformer. 

{g) P. 80.—' Luther.' Born 1483, died 1546. Cf. note uu, Vol. III. p. 533. 

{h) P. 80. — ' Peter Martyr.' That is, Peter Vermilius Martyr, a celebrated divine. 
Ho was born at Florence 1500, died 15G2. Having been a professor of divinity at 
Oxford, his works were early translated in England, and seem to have been very 
pojiular. His name is prominent in English ecclesiastical history. 

(«') P. 80. — ' Zanchius.' This is Jerome Zanchius, a famous Eeformer, born 
1516, died 1590. He must not be confounded with Basil Zanchius, a contemporai'y. 

{j) P. 84.—' Oh, but Bellarmine says, the prophet speaks this in the person of the 
wicked' — i.e., in Isa. vi. 5. Cf. Bellarmine in loc. 

{k) P. 84. — ' Their own aiithors agree hereunto: as Ferus.' By Ferus is intended 
Vincent Fcrre, a Dominican, who died 1G82. His Commentary on the Sum of 
Theology of Aqiiinas fills several huge folios. 

(I) P. 84. — ' Catharen, a cardinal of their own, says there is donata justitia. and 
inhcerens.' Ambrose Catharinus was born at Sienna 1487, died 1553. The distinc- 
tion referred to by Sibbes is found in his ' Speculum Hffircticorum et Liber dc Peccato 
Originali ct Liber de Peifecta .Justificatione a Fide et Opcribus,' 1541. This remark- 
able book, as well as his less known ' Disceptationes de Certitudine de Pra;destina- 
tione,' &c , contains many not merely Protestant-like, but evangelical, opinions. 

(m) P. 84. — ' A pope of theirs, Adrian the Fourth, saith that all our righteousness 
is as the reed of Egypt, which will not only fail us if we rest on it, but will pierce 
our sides.' This renowned pontiff was an Englishman, born near St Alban's. His 
own name was Nicholas Brakespeare, He was pope from 1164 to 1159. It is a 
pity that Sibbes has given us no clue to his authority for the sentiment. 

(n) P. 84. — ' St Cyprian saith also, that he is either superbiis or stuUus, that says 
or thinks he is perfect.' Kepeatedly. Cf. Indices sub vocibits. 

(o) P. 85. — ' However they may brabble in schools to maintain this their asser- 
tion, yet when deatli comes, they must fly those shifts, and lay hold only on God's 
love.' Cf. note iv, Vol III. p. 531. 

{p.) P. 93. — * Some read the words actively.' The original is iVPiS^ h aurw, 
= ' be found in him ; ' but cf. Dean Alford in loc. 

{q) P. 96. — ' As it is with the unicorn, who, having put his horn into the water, 
&c. This and similar singular illustrations recur over and over in the Puritan and 
Church writings equally, being accepted apparently as a stock metaphor. Probably 
they are to be traced to the quaint translations of Pliny"s ' Natural History,' whose 
infinite wonders commended the old folio to our forefathers. On the ' Unicorn,' 
consult Dr Bostock's and Riley's Pliny, ii. 279, 281, and relative notes. 

(r) P. 103. — 'As Cvrus did with the waters of Babylon.' Cf. note a, Vol. XL 
p. 248. 

(s) P. 107. — This made Cyprian to complain of his corruptions, saying they were 
bred and brought up with him ; and therefore feared they would hardly give place to 
grace, being but a stranger,' A reminiscence, apparently, of a sentiment in one of 
his Letters. 

{t) P. 110. — ' "I press forth." It is a word of vehemency, &c.' The original is 
xara (TxcVov bldf/.u, on which cf. Bishop Ellicot in loc. and on ver. 12. 

(m) p. 119. — ' The word " nevertheless," some read it " only." ' TX^y is the adver- 


satire preposifioii here, on wliich consult the very able Treatise of Professor Harrison 
on ' Tlie Greek Prepositions' (Philadelphia, 1858, 8vo). 

(v) P. 123. — 'Maxima debetur puero reverontia.' This trite quotation is from 
the 14th Satyre of Juvenal. The wliolo passage reads thus : — 
Nil dictu fosduni visuve h;p,c liniina tangat 
Intra quas puer est. Procul hinc, procul inde puellae 
Lenonum, et cantus pernoctantis parasiti. 
Maxima debetur i^uero reverentia. Si quid 
Turpe paras, ne tu pueri contempseris annos ; 
Sed peccaturo obsistat tibi filius infans. 

(tv) P. 125. — ' Therefore we must not number the followers, but weigh them 
aright.' The saying, which has since been so frequently in the mouths of poli- 
ticians, ' Votes are to be weighed, not numbered,' seems thus to have originated 
with Sibbes. 

(z) P. 130 — 'Some emperors have required themselves to be so esteemed and 
adored as a deity ' — e. (/., Alexander the (ireat and the Caesars. 

iy) P. 130. — ' Amor tuus Deus tuus.' Of. note aa. 

(z) P. 135. — ' The word translated here "for," in the former translation is "but." ' 
'But' is the translation by Wickliffe (1380), Tyndale (1534), Cranmer (1539), 
Geneva version (1557), Rheims (1582), and, as stated by 8ibbes, 'for' first occurs 
in the authorised translation of 1611. Bishop EUicott adheres to the ' for,' laying 
the emphasis on the 'our.' The conjunction is yap. 

(aa) P. 136. — 'Animus est ubi amat.' Another way of expressing the sentiment 
of note y. Both sentiments common to the proverbs of all languages. Probably 
Sibbes's reference is to a saying of Augustine, which in full runs, Anima magis est 
ubi amat quam ubi animat. 

(bb) P. 144— 'As the heathen man Galen, being stricken into admiration at the 
admirable frame thereof, breaks into a hymn in praise of the Maker.' Galen styles 
a portion of his great work, Ui^i %g£'a; tw^ jmo^imv, a hymn to the Creator ; calling it, 
'liohv Xoyov, ov gyu rov di^fj^iovpyyidavrog ii/jjCtg ufivov aXrjdivhv cuvTid'/j/M' '/.al 
vo/jc/^w tout shui TTjv ovTug ivGiZiiav, ov^i u rau^uv Ixaro/MQag avrov nrap^itoKKag 
xaTaH'oscctijjV, &c. (Lib. iii. cap. x.). Also, at the close of the whole work, he 
describes it as an £'!TO}bog, such as the priests sing at the altars of the gods. 

{cc) P. 145. — ' Say to thy flesh with Bernard, " Stay thy time." ' A very frequent 
saying with this father. For many extraordinary quotations shewing how Bernard 
would have the ' flesh ' denied, and how caustic he could be against the luxuries of 
his age, see the recent ' Life ' by Morison (1863). 

{dd) P. 150. — ' The word that is translated " working," may and doth signify 
" power." ' The original is xam rriv hs^ysiav, on which cf. Calvin in loc. for admi- 
rable exegesis. G. 




' The Redemption of Bodies ' forms one of a volume of sermons called ' Evangeli- 
cal Sacrifices,' published in 1640, 4to. It is given here as being related to the 
preceding ' Expositions ' of portions of Philippians. The separate title-page will be 
found below ;* and as this is our first contribution from ' Evangelical Sacrifices,' the 
general title-page is also given here,! and the epistles dedicatory and prefatory 
of the entire volume, for after reference. G. 




In one Funerall Sermon upon 

Phil. 3. 21. 


The late Learned and Reverend Divine, 

Rich. Sibbs: 

Doctor in Divinity, M^ofKATUEKiNE Hall 

in Cambridge, and sometimes Preacher 

to the Honourable Society of 

Geayes-Inne. j.j 

1 Cor. 15. 44. 4 

It is sowne a naturall Body, it is. raised a spirituall 

Printed by E. Purslow, for JST. Bourne, at the Roy- 
all Exchange, and R. Harfordiii the gilt 
Bible in Queenes head Alley, in Pater- 
Noster-Row. 16 39. 

In xix. Sermons. 

1. Thanhfull commemorations for Gods mercy in our 

great deliverance from the Papists poivder plot. 

2. The successefull seeker. 

3. Faith Triumphant. 

4. Speciall preparations to fit its for our 

latter end in four e Funerall Sermons. 

5. The faithfull Covenanter. 

6. The demand of a good Conscience, 

7. The sword of the wicked. 

The late Learned and Reverend Divine, 


Doctor in Divinity, M": of Katherine Hall in 
Cambridge, and sometimes Preacher to the Honou- 
rable Society of Graycs-Inne. 
The 'third Tome. 
Published and perused by D. Sibbs owno appointment, subscri- 
bed with his hand to prevent imperfect Copies after his decease. 

Romans 12. 1. 
/ beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God, that yee present your 
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your 
reasonable service. 


Printed by T. B. for N. Bourne, at the Royall Exchange, and 

R. Harford, at the guilt Bible in Queenes-head Alley, in 

Pater-noster-Row. 16 4 0. 






Eight Honoueable, 

A pious Cliristian, whilst upon earth, takes bis time to do his 
task. He is or would be all in grace and all to duty, well knowing that 
* the time is short,' 1 Cor, vii. 29, the work great, the wages sure ; and 
that the best impro^'ement of parts and talents will bring in the Master the 
greatest advantage, and himself the present and most lasting comforts. 
This is the fruit of a well-led life, to advance God in glory and a Christian 
in comfort. Such as serve God in fulfilling his will, must to heaven carry 
their graces with them, enter into their Master's joy, &c.; if they be 
eminent in profession or public in place, leave behind them their example 
or some other monument to the world of their fidelity in their places. 
Happy such servants that can thus employ their times and improve their 
talents. This was the endeavour of that shining and burning lamp Dr 
Sibbs, the author of this work, which I now make bold to present unto 
your honours. Such holy and useful truths were delivered by him in his 
lifetime, that the judicious conceive may prove very profitable unto the 
church being published after his death. I conceive thus of the man, what 
he did in his ministry in public, or in his conference in private, it was 
done aptly, pithily, and profitably ; his art was to hide his art, est celaro 
artem, dx., to say much in few words. He did not desire to cloud his 
matter from his hearers, or to walk so long about any one text till errors 
were vented, or his auditors tired. You shall find him to be himself, and 
one constant to his own principles, all along the treatise. Here you have 
no new errors broached, or old truths deserted, but opened, maintained, 
and honoured, the glory of teachers, expectation of hearers, and recompence 

* Cf. note, Vol II. page 3.— G. 


of readers. Having found this to be your honour's honour, and let it still 
be, to content yourselves with humble knowledge, cordial respect, and vital 
expressions of received truths ; that you are not in number with those that 
change their judgments, and I fear their religion, as they do their friends and 
fashions, being constant in inconstancy ; and that with you it is not truths 
for persons, but persons for truth ;* I doubt not the admittance of these 
sermons unto your respect and patronage. My only request is, that as the 
author did honour you, so these labours of his, now made public, may be 
as so many divine beams, holy breathings, and celestial droppings, to raise 
up your spirits to hate the dominion of the beast, to help forward the ruin 
of mystical Jericho and all other unprosperous buildings and builders ; that 
3'ou may become successful seekers, gaining faith triumphant, to acquaint 
you with the hidden life ; that at length you may obtain the redemption of 
your bodies, knowing that Balaam's wish is not enough, unless the faithful 
Covenanter take you into covenant with himself : this alone yielding to you 
the demand of a good conscience, which shall be your defence against the 
sword of reproach. t These I leave with you, and you with God, and rest 

Your honour's at command, 

John Sedgwick. J 

* Non ex pprsonis probamus fidem, sed ex fide personas. — Tertullian Apolog. 
t Cf. note, Vol. IV. page 492.— G. 

X It will be noticed that Sedgwick ingeniously brings together here all the sub- 
jects of the several sermons in the volume. Cf. title-page, ante, 156. — G. 


So precious the remembrance should be of God's thoughts of mercy to 
US-ward, when he dehvered us from that helhsh plot of the Gunpowder 
Treason, that if there were nothing else to commend this treatise to us, 
the first sermons here presented to us, which were preached upon that 
occasion, may justly procure it a ready and hearty welcome. 

When God works such wonders for a church and people as that was, 
it is not enough to praise God for the present, and to rejoice greatly in 
the great salvation he hath wrought for them ; yea, the more a people 
are in such a case affected for the present, the more inexcusable they 
must needs be if afterward they slight and disregard it, and that because 
their former joy proves they were thoroughly convinced of the greatness 
of the mercy, and so discovers their following ingratitude to be the more 
abominable ; whence it was that when Jonathan put his father Saul in 
mind how David killed Goliah, and thereby had wrought a gi'eat deliver- 
ance for them (to the end he might no longer seek his ruin, that had been 
the means of so much good to God's people) ; withal he wished him to 
consider that he himself stood by, an eye-witness of that noble exploit 
of David's, and was then mightily affected with joy when he saw that 
formidable giant fell under his hand : ' Thou sawest it,' saith he, ' and 
didst rejoice,' 1 Samuel xix. 5, intimating how inexcusable it would be if 
he should forget that deliverance, concerning which himself had been so 
wondrously affected when it was done. 

As therefore we have great cause to bewail the general decay of men's 
thankfulness for this great deliverance ; at the first discovery of that cursed 
plot, ' Our mouths were filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing,' 
Ps. cxxvi. 2, all the land over, and every man could say, * The Lord hath 
done great things for us, whereof we are glad,' as Ps. cxxvi. 2, 3 ; and yet 
now scarce one amongst many is afl'ected with it, as in former times ; so 
have we also great cause to bless God for the hol}^ alarms of God's watch- 
men, whereby they have endeavoured to stir up those that are fallen from 
their first joy ; and so amongst the rest for these of Keverend Dr Sibbes, the 
author of them, wherein he hath so feelingly set forth the misery of that 
antichristian bondage, from which we were delivered in that deliverance, 
that methinks he that reads them with due care must needs find his heart 
rousing up itself, as Deborah did : ' Awake, awake, Deborah ; awake, 
awake, utter a song,' Judges v. 12. 

As for the other sermons, which, in this third tome, be styled Evangelical 
Sacrifices, which are published together with these, 3'ou shall find them no 
less profitable than these, though in divers other respects. The most of 
them tend to fit Christians for their latter end, a work of greatest import- 


ance, and do so sweetly set before our eyes that rccompence of reward 
reserved for us in heaven, that I hope many of that brood of travellers, 
' the generation of those that seek God's face' and favour here on earth, 
shall find them a great help to the ' finishing of their course with joy,' 
and others shall be wakened that are too ready to slumber and forget 
whither they are going, * to strive to enter in at the strait gate,' Luke xiii. 
24, and not to content themselves with a lazy Balaam's wish ; which, reader, 
let us seek from Him who only gives the blessing, to whose grace I com- 
mend thee, resting still 

Thine in the hearty desire of thy spiritual welfare, 

Aethuk Jackson.* 

Cf. Note Vol. II. page 442.— G. 

%* The other sermons of ' Evangelical Sacrifices ' will be found in their proper 
places in the present and subsequent volumes. Meantime, with reference to those 
commemorative of the 'Gunpowder Plot,' and Jackson's remarks thereupon, supra, 
the following calm words from a recently published and very masterly ' History ' of 
the period may be accejitable .— ' On their reassembling (1606), the attention of the 
House was necessarily directed to the danger from whicli they had escaped. A Bill 
was eagerly passed, by which the 5th of November was ordered to be kept as a day 
of thanksgiving for ever. [3 Jac I. cap. 1.] Tliat Act continued in force for more 
than two centuries and a half, and was only repealed when tlie service which was 
originally the outpouring of tliankful hearts had long become an empty form.' 
[History of England from the Accession of James I. to the Disgrace of Chief Justice 
Coke, 1603-1616. By Samuel Kawson Gardiner. (2 vols. 8vo, 1863.) Vol. I. 
chap. V. p. 271.] — G. 


Who shall chanfje our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his (glorious 
body, accordiny to the rrorkiny whereby he is able to subdue all things to 
/u»iit'//.— Philip. III. 21. 

The apostle was now in iirison, yet he had a spirit of gloiy resting upon 
him ; for he speaks as if he were entered into heaven, as if he were there 
before his time ; and therefore in chapter i., ver. 23, saith he, ' I desire 
to be dissolved, and to be with Christ, which is best of all.' And ' I 
account all but dung in comparison of Christ,' as he saith in this chapter, 
ver. 8. And here in the former verse, ' Our conversation is in heaven ; 
from whence we look for the Saviour, Jesus Christ : who shall change our 
vile bodies,' &c. God reserves abundance of comforts to the fittest times, 
as we see here in St Paul in this place. Now he brings in his own example 
to good purpose, as opposite to false Christians and false teachers, that he 
had mentioned before. ' There are many walk, of whom I have told you 
oft, &c. They are enemies to the cross of Christ : that mind earthly 
things,' &c., ver. 18. But saith he, ' Our conversation is in heaven.' He 
regards not which way they went. He took an opposite course to the 
world, and swims against the stream. As we see the stars, they have a 
motion of their own, opposite to the motion that they are carried with. 
So St Paul had a motion of his own, opposite to the course of the world. 
' Their end is damnation,' but ' our conversation is in heaven.' A Chris- 
tian hath his conversation in heaven. While he is on earth, he rules his 
life by the laws of heaven.* There are alway in the visible church some 
that walk contrary ways, who make ' their belly their god, whose end is 
damnation.' There were some that were Christians, nay, and teachers of 
Christians many of them, yet he saith, ' Their end is damnation, their god 
is their belly.' Carnal Christians say. We have all received the sacrament, 
&c. Alas ! we may all partake of this common privilege, and yet our end 
may be damnation. St Paul looked on them with a spirit of compassion, 
* I tell you weeping.' So it may be with us in our Goshen here. There 
may be a spirit of castaways in many ; and in the abundance of means 
there may be many dead souls. But St Paul regards not what their coarse 
was, for saith he, ' Our conversation is in heaven.' 

* We have here, long anticipated, the title of the racy and suggestive hook of 
Eev. "William Arnot of Glasgow, ' Laws from Heaven fur Life on^Earth' (2 vols., 

1857-58).— G. 

VOL. v. L 


' From whence we look for the Saviour,' &c. 

That shews why his conversation was in heaven, because his Saviour was 
in heaven ; and therefore his hope was in heaven : ' Where the treasure is, 
the heart will be,' Mat. vi. 21. Having entered into this blessed discourse, 
he goes on still : ' Who shall change our vile bodies, and fashion them like 
his glorious body.' He brings it in by way of answering an objection. If 
our conversation be in heaven, why are our bodies yet subject to such 
afflictions and baseness in this world ? It is true they are ; but the time 
shall come that Christ shall change these vile bodies of ours, and ' fashion 
them like to his glorious body.' Ay, but this requires a great deal of power 
and strength, and we see not how it may be. Therefore, saith he, he shall 
do it by ' that almighty power whereby he is able to subdue all things to 
himself.' Therefore he shall subdue death, the last enemy. He will not 
do it perhaps according to thy fancy and conceit, but ' according to the 
working whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.' We must not 
regard our weak conceits in great matters, but God's power. ' Ye err,' 
saith Christ to the Pharisees, ' not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power 
of God.' 

St Paul then in these words, and in the verse before, sets down three 
reasons why his course is opposite to the course of wicked men in his time. 

1. First, My city is in heaven, and my conversation is answerable. I take 
a contrary course, for I am a citizen of another city. 

' 2. And then another reason is, his liojoe and expectation of a Saviour 
from heaven, the Lord Jesus. Hope, and faith, which is the ground of 
hope, carry up the soul where the thing hoped for is. ' Our conversation 
is in heaven : we hope for a Saviour from thence.' 

3. The third reason is, from the condition of the lody. However it was 
now for the present, ' he shall change our vile body, that it may be like his 
glorious body.' 

* Who shall change our vile body.' 

You see here the apostle, having set himself upon a holy and heavenly 
meditation, he could not satisfy himself, but goes from point to point, 
setting down his present holy conversation, grounded upon his future hope 
of a blessed state to come. ' Christ shall change our vile body.' Our 
bodies are vile, and our bodies. Here is the point then, that 

The best men's bodies in this world are vile. 

Vile in regard of the matter whence they are taken, the earth, from the 
dust. The fairest body is but well-coloured dust ; base and vile from the 
beginning, from the womb ; base in the whole life, base in death ; most 
base after death. They are base, I say, in the beginning. 

But especially, base in our life. Our bodies are base in reyard of labour. 
' Man is born to labour ' — in this world — * as the sparks fly upward,' Job 
V. 7. God would humble the body of every man with labour ; or else those 
that have not the labour of men here shall have the labour of devils here- 
after. The best body of the best saints are condemned to labour. 

Vile likewise in regard of sickness and diseases, which grow out of the 
body ; so that be it kept never so warm and tenderly, yet as the worms 
grow out of the very wood, and consumes the wood that breeds it, so dis- 
eases grow out of and come from the body. There is a fight and conflict 
between moisture and heat, till the one prey upon the other and consume 
it. In regard of sickness therefore they are vile bodies. 

In regard likewise of disposing the soid the worst way; for take all tempers 
of the body, they incline the Boul to some sin or other, to some ill dispoai- 


tion or other. Choler inclines it to intemperate anger, melancholy to dis- 
trust and dai'kness of spirit. The sanf/ulne incHnes it to Hberty and loose- 
ness, &c., pJdef/m to deadness and dulness of spirit. So our base bodies 
make the soul dull. It becomes an unfit instrument, whereby the soul 
cannot work as it would ; an unfit house. The body is ofttimes a dark 
house ; sometimes a house that drops in with moist diseases ; a house 
that lets in water, and so consumes it to rottenness. Sometimes it is a 
house fired by hot diseases. It is thus indisposed, and therefore a vile 

A vile body likewise, that when it is thus indisposed, there is no com- 
fort in the earth that can comfort it; for all the foundation of comfort 
in this world is the health of this poor body. A kingdom, nay, all the 
kingdoms in the world, will not comfort a man if his body be not in tune ; 
and, alas, how soon is this body out of tune ! An instrument that hath 
many strings is soon subject to be out of tune,* and there are many strings 
in the body. How many turnings, how many instruments, doth the soul 
use ! If any be out of tune, the music is hindered. It becomes an unfit 
instrument. In this regard it is a vile body. 

In regard likewise of the necessities of nature, this body is vile in this 
world. I speak not of what comes from the body, in which respect it is 
base and vile. But how many things doth this vile body stand in need 
of! Man, in that respect, is the basest creature in the world. He is 
beholden to the worms ; he is beholden to nature to feed him in health, 
and in sickness the body needs patching up and piecing by this creature 
and by that. So it is a vile body in regard of the necessities of it, in 
health, in sickness, in youth, in ago. It is vile in life. I need not stand 
on this. 

It is more vile in death. In the hour of death, then it is base and vile 
indeed. Can we endure the sight of our dearest friends ? How noisome 
is their presence after death ! And the most exquisite temper f is the 
most vile and noisome of all. Those that are most delicately fed, and 
most beautifully faced, are most offensive ; and this is the condition of all. 
That head that wore a crown, those hands that swayed a sceptre, those 
brains and that understanding that ruled many kingdoms, all are subject 
to death, yea, and to baseness after death, as well as those that are poorer. 
And then they are vile bodies, because they are subject to all manner of 
deaths. The bodies of God's saints have been cast out to the fowls of the 
air. The poor martyrs, how many ways have they tasted of death ! These 
bodies are subject to all manner of deaths, to variety of deaths ; therefore 
they are vile bodies. 

And then they are vile after death. As we were taken out of dust at the 
first, so we return to dust again ; and if these bodies be not transformed 
to be like the glorious body of Christ, they are most vile of all. The spirit 
of despair, the spii'it of anger, that is in reprobate persons, how doth it dis- 
figure their faces ! One may see their shame, their grief, their despair in 
their very looks. So their bodies are most vile and dishonourable. But 
I speak of God's children. I say here in this world, in regard that they 
coma of parents that are miserable and sinful, ' Man that is bom of a 
woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery,' Job. xiv. 1 ; 
man that is born of a woman, of a weak, miserable, sinful woman. In 

* " Strange that an liarp of thousand strings 

Should keep in tune bo long." — Cpu-ver. — G. 
t That is, ' attempered' body. — G. 


this respect it is a vile body. And in all passages of our life, iu respect of 
labour, and pain, and sicknesses, and diseases, and likewise for indisposing 
the soul, that it is an instrument to ill. And in death itself more vile than 
in life ; and after death most of all vile. So you see they are vile bodies 
every way. To make some use of this. 

Use 1. If this be so, considering what the condition of our body is here, 
let this abate the pride of the f/reatest. Let them consider, when they look 
upon their gay apparel, what doth these garments hide ? When great 
magistrates and others have their pui'ple on, let them consider, what doth 
this glorious garment cover ? Nothing but dust ; a vile body. Why 
should we be proud then of our bodies, or of any ornament of om* body, 
seeing it is a vile body ? 

Use 2. Again, If our bodies be vile and base, ivhy should ice spend the 
strenffth of our soids in searching to satisfy the lusts of so rile a body, and so 
make our souls nothing else almost but stewards to prowl how to content, 
how to clothe, and how to feed this body ? As it is the study of many 
idle vain persons, almost all the day long, to give contentment to the 
craving lusts of this vile body ; they make even an idol of this poor base 
piece of flesh, and sacrifice the best of their thoughts, and the best of their 
studies and endeavours and labours, to the contentment of it. Certainly 
this is forgotten which the apostle saith here, ' It is a vile and base body.' 

Use 3. Again, Is our body a vile body, a base body, as we have it 
here ? Then let us not make it more vile by intemperate courses, as ivicked 
persons do. They dishonour their bodies. They are vile indeed, make the 
best of them we can, and they will end in dust ; but we ought not sinfully 
to make them more vile and base, as many wretched persons do by their 
loose and licentious courses of life. 

Use 4. Again, If our bodies be vile, base bodies, while we live here, let 
us not offend God for anything to gratify our vile bodies. Let us do as Joseph 
did, w^hen his mistress tempted him ; he left his garment behind him rather. 
So when we are tempted to any sin, let us rather leave our garments behind 
us, let us leave our bodies. They are but vile bodies, let us be stripped 
of them, rather than ofiend God. It is pitiful to consider how this vile 
body, as vile as it is, and shall be in death, how it tyranniseth over the 
poor soul, and how men wound their souls for their bodies. How many 
are there that justify errors that they condemn in their hearts, to live a lazy, 
idle, a full, a plentiful life. And how many do condemn those things, those 
courses, and those truths, to please others, and to live a large and idle life 
— which they justify in their very souls — and all to please the flesh ? It 
is but a bad counsellor, a bad solicitor I say, it tyranniseth over the poor 
soul. Let us not ofl"end God or conscience, to break the peace of it for 
anything, to gratify this vile flesh. This I thought good to touch concern- 
ing that. 

* Who shall change our vile bodies.' 

' Change.' The action that Christ shall exercise about them is 'change.' 
Christ will * change' our vile bodies. They are vile now. They shall not 
be always so ; but Christ will ' change' our vile bodies. He will not give 
us other bodies for them, but he will change them in regard of quality. 
For even as the great world was the same after the flood as it was before 
the flood, and shall be when it is consumed by fire, it shall be a new world 
for quality, but the same for substance ; so this body of ours, it shall be 
the same after the resurrection for substance that it is now. It shall be 
altered for quality, it shall not be changed for sub&tance. Therefore he 


shall ' change,' he shall not abolish our vile hoilies. This is the action 
that onr blessed Saviour will exercise upon these vile bodies ; they shall be 
changed. Man is the most changeable creature in the world, for soul and 
for body too. 

Take him in his soul, how many states is ho in ? There is first the state 
of nature in perfection ; and then the state of corruption in original sin ; 
and then the state of grace in the new creature ; and then the state of glory. 
So likewise he is changeable in his body. He was first taken out of the 
dust. Out of the dust God made this glorious creature of man's body. He 
is a painful creature, in labour, in sickness ; and then from strength he is 
changed to old age ; and from thence to death, and dust ; and from dust 
then he is changed again to a more glorious estate than ever he was in. 
The body is made like the glorious body of Christ. He is changeable in 
soul and in body. 

But this is our comfort, we shall change for the best. All the changes 
of our body serve for the last change ; after which, there shall never be any 
more change. When they are changed once to be glorious, they shall be 
for ever glorious. A blessed change, a blessed estate of a Christian ; all 
his changes tend to a state that shall never change. For after these bodies 
are once changed from base to be glorious, they shall be for ever glorious. 
' Who.' The person that shall change them is Christ : ' icho shall change 
our vile bodies.' In the person, we may consider the object and the action. 
Christ shall change our vile bodies. He that made us will make us again. 
He that is the image of God will refine us. He will renew us in body and 
soul to be like God, to be like himself ; and he that changeth our souls in 
this world, will change our bodies in the world to come. His first coming 
was to change our souls, to deliver them from the bondage of Satan. His 
second coming shall be to deliver our bodies from the bondage of corruption, 
that is, the day of ' the redemption of our bodies,' as the apostle calls it, 
Eom. viii. 23. So it is he that shall change. But of this I shall speak 
more afterward. 

What is the pattern according to which this body shall be changed, by 
this author of it, Christ Jesus ? His own body. ' He shall change our 
vile bodies, 

' That it may be made like, or fashioned like, his glorious body.' 
He is both the cause and the pattern ; the efficient and the exemplary 
cause. He is the pattern. Our bodies shall be like his glorious body, 
even as our souls are like Christ's soul. For this is certain. We are 
renewed in grace, not to the image of the first Adam, but to the image of 
the second Adam. We are conformed in soul to the image of Christ in 
holiness and righteousness. So likewise in the body, we shall be conform- 
able to the body of Christ, « the second Adam.' As we bare the image of 
the first Adam in our first creation, so we must bear the image of the 
second in our restoration, at the day of the resurrection. The glorious 
body of Christ is the pattern of this transmutation and change. 

But we must understand this, as I said, in regard of quality, and not in 
regard of equality : our body shall be like his glorious body, not equal to 
his glorious body. There must be a reservation therefore of difference in 
heaven, between the head and the members, the husband and the spouse. 
Our bodies shall be like his glorious body, not equal to it. To our capacity 
we shall have full satisfaction and contentment for body and soul too ; and 
they shall have security to be in that estate for ever. Therefore, though 
there be a difference of glory, yet that difference is no prejudice to the glory 


we shall have. We shall have that that is fit for us. ' Our body shall be 
made like unto his glorious body.' Christ is our pattern. 
Whence ^Ye see this point of divinity clear to us, that 
Whatsoever is in us, both for soul and hoihj (hut here we speak of the body ) , 
whatsoever excellency is in iis, it is at the second hand. 

• It is first in our head, first in Christ, and then in us. He is fii'st the 
Son of God by nature. We are the sons of God by adoption. He is the 
predestinated Son of God to save us, to be our head. We are predestinate 
to be his members. He is the Son of God's love ; we are beloved in him. 
He is full of grace : ' Of his fulness vre receive grace for grace,' John i. 16. 
He rose and we shall rise, because he rose first. He ascended into heaven ; 
by virtue of his ascension we shall ascend into heaven too. He sits at the 
right hand of God in glory, and by virtue of his sitting we sit there together 
with him in heavenly places. Whatsoever is graciously or gloriously good 
that is in us, it is first in our blessed and glorious Saviour. 

Therefore let 7is look to him, and be thankful to God for him. When 
we thank God for ourselves, let us thank God first for giving Christ, who is 
the pattern to whom we are conformed. Let us give thanks for him, as St 
Peter doth, ' Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,' 1 Peter 
i. 3. If he had not been his Father, he had not been ours. We cannot 
stand before God of ourselves, but in one that is perfect in himself, God- 
man. Therefore when we bless God for grace and glory that belongs to 
us, let us bless him for giving Christ, that in him we are happy. He con- 
forms us in grace here and in glory hereafter, in body and soul, to our 
glorious Saviour. 

And as it is a ground of thankfulness to God for Christ, so it yields us 
a rule for vieditation. When we would think of anything in ourselves, let 
us go to our head, to Christ, in whom we have all we have and that we hope 
to have. ' Of his fulness we receive, not only grace for grace,' but glory 
for glory. Of all the glory he hath, we have answerable to him ; and surely 
it is a transforming meditation to think of Christ's glory, and to see our- 
selves in him ; to think of grace in Christ, and of our interest in grace in 
him. We must not think of him as an abstracted head severed from us, 
but think of his glory, and our glory in him and by him. He is glorious, 
and we shall be glorious likewise. 

Again, You see here that howsoever our bodies are vile for the present, 
yet they shall not be so for ever. They shall be ' glorious bodies,' like to 
Christ's body. The point then is that. 

As Christ is the pattern of the glory of our body, so our body undoubtedly 
shall be glorious as his body is. 

This vile body shall be glorious, even like Christ's glorious body. I need 
not stand to prove it. I proved it before. What should this afford us ? 
Then let us use them to a glorious end ; let us not use these base bodies to 
base puq)0ses. Let every member of this vile body, while we live here, be 
a weapon of a sanctified soul ; a weapon of righteousness ready to do good. 
Let us put honour upon these bodies that shall be thus honoured ; let us 
use them for honourable purposes. Let us lift up our eyes to heaven ; let 
us reach forth our hands to good works. Let our feet that have carried us 
to ill heretofore, carry us to the service of God ; for these very vile bodies 
shall be glorious bodies. The very same eyes that have been lift up to 
God in prayer ; those very hands that now are instruments of good works ; 
those very knees that are humbled to God in prayer ; and those feet that 
have carried us to holy exercises ; and those spirits that are wasted and 


spent in holy meditation : even these, this vile body that is thus holily used, 
shall be a glorious body. Therefore let us use it answerably. 

And labour to lay it down with honour in the dust, to leave it with a 
good report to the world, considering it shall be so glorious afterward. Do 
those think of this that use their bodies for base 'purposes ? whose eyes 
are full of adultery, whose hands are full of rapine, whose feet carry them 
to base places where they defile themselves, whose bodies every member is 
a weapon and instrument of sinning against God ? How can these dare 
to think of that glorious day, wherein our vile bodies shall be made like 
the glorious body of Christ ? Can they hope that those hands and those 
feet of that body shall be made glorious that have been defiled, that have 
been instruments to make others likewise sin ? Can such a body look for 
glory ? Let us not deceive ourselves. This vile body indeed shall be a 
glorious body. Ay, but it must be used accordingly, unless we have a pre- 
sumptuous hope. 

This body shall be glorious ; this very vile body, ' this corruptible shall 
put on incorruption,' the same body, as the apostle saith, 1 Cor. xv. 54. I 
believe the resurrection of this body, as we say in the creed. St Paul 
pointed to his own body : this body, ' this mortal shall put on immor- 

If this body shall be glorious, how base soever it be in this world, then 
again let us lionour jwor Christians, though we see them vile and base, and 
honour aged Christians and deformed. Alas ! look not on them as they 
are, but as they shall be ; as they are in the decree of Christ, and as they shall 
be ere long by the power of Christ. He will make them like his glorious body. 
Let us not despise weak or old or deformed persons. These vile bodies 
shall be glorious. Those that died in martyrdom, whose bodies were cast 
into the fire and cast to wild beasts, &c., they shall be glorious bodies. 
The Emperor Constantino would kiss the very holes of the eyes of those 
that had their ej'es pulled out, that had been martyred [a) ; so even our 
vile bodies, when they are used in the service of God in sufiering, they shall 
be glorious bodies. Let us honour our bodies, or theirs that sufier for 
Christ. St Paul made it his plea, and a ground of his confidence, because 
his body was vile for Christ. ' I Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and I 
bear in my bod}^ the marks of the Lord Jesus, the dying of Christ, that 
the life of Christ might be made manifest,' 2 Cor. iv. 10, and Gal. vi. 17. 
He carried, Christ's marks in his body, making this an argument of re- 
spect, that he was a prisoner. So when any are abased for Christ's 
sake, let us think these are such as shall have glorious bodies, however 
they are esteemed of the world. But to enlarge the point a little fui'ther. 
These bodies shall be made like the body of Christ. 

Quest. Wherein shall this glory of our bodies consist ? 

Ans. Especially in these six endowments. Onr bodies be now vile and 
perhaps imperfect. They want a member, a sense, or a limb. Our bodies 
then shall be perfect, even as Christ's body is. Those martyrs that have 
been dismembered shall then have perfect bodies. Let us not be afraid to 
lose a limb or a joint for Chi'ist or a good cause. If our bodies be made 
vile for Christ, they shall be made perfect afterward. 

Then again, our bodies then shall be beautiful. Adam in his innocency 
had such a beauty in his body that the very creatures reverenced him. He 
was awful to the very creatures. So the body of our blessed Saviour, nov/ 
in heaven, is wondrous beautiful ; and so shall our bodies be, how deformed 
soever they be now. Let us not stand, therefore, upon any present 



deformity of our bodies now with years, or sickness, or other means. 
They shall not always be so. We shall have beautiful bodies. 

Nay more than so, the third endowment is, we shall haxer/lorious bodies. As 
we see Christ in the mount when he was transfigured, and Moses and Eliaa 
were with him, his body was glorious. They could hardly behold him. 
And Christ, in Kev. i. IG, he appears ' as the sun in his full strength.' 
His body is wondx'ous glorious now in heaven, and so he is represented 
there. If the very representation of him while he was upon earth was so 
glorious in the mount, what is it in heaven ? St Paul could not endure 
the hght that shined to him. Acts ix, 3, seq. So shall our bodies be like 
the glorious body of Christ. 

■ What a glorious time will it be when the glorious body of Christ shall 
appear, and all the saints shall appear in glory ! what a reflection of beauty 
and glory will there be, one shining upon another, when Christ shall come 
' to be glorious in his saints ! ' Oh, the glory of the body of God's children, 
it shall put down all created glory. All the glory of the sun and moon, and 
all the glory of these inferior bodies, are nothing to the glory of the body of 
a Christian that doth abase h : body here for Christ and the church's sake. 
You see, then, these bodies shall be perfect, and beautiful, and glorious 
bodies in regard of the lustre of them. 

And likewise, in the fourth place, they shall be immortal bodies — bodies 
that shall never die, unchangeable bodies. There shall be no alteration, 
no death, no sickness. 'All tears shall be wiped from our eyes,' Kev. 
vii. 17. They shall be immortal bodies, that shall never die ; as St Peter 
saith, 'We shall have an inheritance undefiled, immortal,' &c., 1 Peter 
i. 4. This is clear : therefore I will not stand in the enlarging of it. 

In the next place. Our bodies shall be poicerfnl and vigorous. Now they 
are weak, as St Paul saith, 1 Cor. xv. 43. Our bodies are ' sown in weak- 
ness,' but then they shall be able to ascend and descend. They shall be 
strong, even as the body of Christ, We shall have strong bodies ; as all 
imperfections, so all weakness shall be taken away. 

In the sixth place, They shall be sjuritual bodies ; that is, they shall not 
stand in need of meat, and drink, and sleep, and refreshings as now they 
do, but Christ will be all in all to them. He will be instead of meat, and 
drink, and clothes. Yea, and instead of the ordinances that we stand in 
need of here, the word and sacraments, he will be all in all. And our 
bodies shall be spiritual in another regard, because they shall be subject to 
the spirit. Whereas now, our very spirits are flesh, because the flesh 
rules and tyranniseth over them, so our souls follow our bodies. The soul 
of a carnal man is flesh, but then our flesh, our bodies, shall be spiritu:il. 
Not that they shall be turned into spirits, that is not the meaning, but 
spiritual bodies, obedient and obsequious to the very guidance of the soul, 
to a sanctified and glorious soul. These shall be the endowments of our 
bodies. They shall be perfect bodies ; beautiful, glorious, shining bodies ; 
immortal, unchangeable bodies ; powerful, strong, and vigorous bodies, 
ready to move from place to place; and spiritual bodies. They shall 
stand in need of no other help, and they shall be obedient altogether to 
the spirit. You see now how these vile bodies draw away our souls. 
Then all imperfections shall be taken away. We shall have purged 
bodies and purged souls. Thus you see wherein the glory of the body 
shall consist. 

Let us therefore often seriously think of these things ; and let me renew 
my former exhortation : let us be content to make our bodies here vile for 


Christ's sake, that they may be thus glorious. Let us abase them in labour 
and pains in our calling ; in suffering, we do no more than he did for us 
first. Was not his body first vile and then glorious ? And do we think 
that our bodies must not be vile before they be glorious ? Not only vile 
whether we will or no, but we must willingly make them vile. We 
must be willing to be disgraced for Christ's sake, to carry his death about 
us, to ' die daily ' in the resolution of our souls. How was he abased 
before he was glorious ! He took on him our bodies at the worst, not in 
the perfection as it was created, but he took the body of man now fallen. 
Again, what pains did he take in this body ! And how was he disgraced 
in this body ! That sacred face was spit upon ; those blessed hands and 
feet were nailed to the cross ; that blessed head, that is reverenced of the 
angels, it was crowned with thorns. How was his body every way, in all the 
parts of it, abased and made vile for us ! He neglected his refreshings for 
us : it was ' meat and drink ' to him to do good. If he became vile for us, 
if he abased his body for us, certainly we should be ashamed if we be not 
content that our bodies should be made vile for him, that afterwards they 
may be made like his glorious body. Away with these nice Christians that 
are afraid of the wind blowing on them or the sun shining upon them, that 
are afraid to do anything or to suffer anything, and so in sparing their 
bodies destroy both body and soul. Consider, whoever thou art, this is 
not a life for thy body. This present life is a life for the soul. We come 
now to have the image of God in our souls in this life especially, and to 
have in our souls the life of grace here, but the life and happiness of our 
body is for this second coming of Christ, the glory of the body. This life 
is not a time for the body. Do what we can, it will be a vile body : cherish 
it, set it out how thou canst, those painted sepulchres that would out-face 
age and out-face death, and by colours and complexions, &c., hide those 
furrows that age makes in the face, they are but vile ; and age and death 
will; be too good for them ; to dust they will. Why should we regard 
our bodies ? This life is not for them though we be dainty of them. Let 
us use this body here so as it may be glorious in the world to come. We 
should suffer our souls to rule our bodies, and to do all here, that both 
body and soul may be glorious after. For indeed all that the body hath 
here it is beholding to the soul for. Why, therefore, should it not be an 
instrument for the soul in holy things ? Doth not the soul quicken it ? 
Hath it not its beauty from the soul ? When the soul is gone out of the 
body, where is the life ? Where is the beauty ? Where is anything ? The 
body is a loathsome carcase. Now, therefore, while the soul is in this body, 
look to the soul especially, that when the soul shall go to heaven, the soul 
be mindful of, and speak a good word for, the body, as Pharaoh's butler 
did for Joseph ; that the soul there may think of the body, that it may 
think of the pains, of the suffering ; as the soul doth, it hath an appetite in 
heaven, a desire to be joined again to the body which it useth to labour in, 
to pray to God in, which it used to fast in, which it used as an instrument 
to good actions. Let us use it so here that the soul may desire to meet it 
again, that Christ at that day may bring body and soul together to be 
glorious for ever. 

' That it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.' 

We see here, then, that the best is to come. The best change, after 

which there shall be no change, is to come. The weakest is the first, and 

the second is better. The second Adam is better than the first ; and the 

second life shall be better than the first. Our bodies, as they shall bo 



glorious, sliall be better than they were in the first creation. They shall 
be glorious bodies, like unto Christ's. Oh, the comfort of a Christian ! 
There is nothing that is behind, nothing to come, but it is for the better. 
There shall be a change, but it shall be a change for the better. A Chi-is- 
tian is a person full of hope. He is under a glorious hope, under a hope 
of glory of soul and body. He is alway under hope, the ' hope of gloiy.' 
Therefore ' he joys under this hope,' Kom. v. 2. 

' That it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.' 

Quest. But how shall any Christian know that his body shall be hke to 
the glorious body of Christ ? 

Ans. 1. I answer. He may know it from this : The change of a Chris- 
tian begins in his soul. Christ begins the change of our souls to be Hke his : 
fall of love and obedience to God ; full of pity and compassion to men ; 
full of industry to do good. Our souls will be like Christ's soul. First 
look to thy soul, what stamp that bears. Is there the image of Christ on 
thy soul ? Certainly he that hath transformed this soul to be gracious, he 
will transform the body to be glorious, like his glorious body. Look to 
thy soul then. If thou art the child of God by adoption, if thou hast the 
spirit of adoption and grace, and findest peace of conscience and joy in the 
Holy Ghost, thou mayest know thou shalt have the adoption of thy body. 
Thou hast the fii'st adoption in thy soul ; thou art the child of God : know 
that thou shalt have the second adoption, spoken of Rom. viii. 23, ' We 
wait for the adoption of our bodies.' If thou partake of ' the first resur- 
rection,' that thy soul is raised from sin, thou shalt partake of the second 
resurrection at the day of judgment. 

For Christ is a perfect Saviour. He saves not only the soul, but the 
body. Though he begin with the soul, he ends with the body. He took 
our bodies as well as our souls ; and he will glorify our bodies as well as 
our souls. And if we find the work of grace a ' spirit of glory' in our souls, 
undoubtedly we may know that our bodies shall be glorious. 

Ans. 2. Again, Thou mayest know that thou shalt partake of this glorious 
estate, that thy body shall be like the glorious body of Christ, % the use that 
this body is put to. How dost thou use this vile body for the time thou 
livest now ? Dost thou use it to the base services of sin ? Dost thou beat 
thy brain, and thy breast, and thy spirits ? Dost thou take up thy time 
and all to provide for the flesh ? Whither doth thy feet carry thee ? What 
dost thou meddle with in the world ? Are all thy members weapons of an 
unsanctified soul to offend God, and to ' fight against thy soul ?' 1 Pet. 
ii. 11 ; to cherish lusts that fight against thy soul and against thy Maker 
and Redeemer ? Then know this, that thou hast no hope of glory : ' He 
that hath this hope purge th himself, and is pure as he is pure,' 1 John 
iii. 3. This hope, where it is found, it is a purging, a cleansing hope ; and 
all the members of the body will be used to a sanctified purpose. A man 
will not sacrilegiously use those members that are dedicated to Christ ; that 
are temples of the Holy Ghost ; that are fellow-heirs, as St Peter saith, 
concerning the wife and the husband, 1 Pet. iii. 7. The body is a fellow- 
heir with the soul, of glory. He will not use it to the base services of sin. 
He that shall have a glorious body will esteem so of it here. What ! shall 
I use the temple of the Holy Ghost ? That that is a fellow-heir of heaven 
with my soul ! that is the spouse of Christ, a member of Christ, as well 
as my soul ! Shall I use it to these and these base services ? It cannot 
be. If a man have the new nature in him, he cannot. It will not sufter 
him to sin in this manner. He cannot prostitute his body to base services. 


Those that do so, how can they hope that their bodies should be glorious, 
like uuto Christ's ? 

St Paul gives three evidences in one place, to know our interest in this 
glory of our bodies, in 2 Cor. v. 1. Saith he, ' We know that when this 
earthly house or tabernacle shall be dissolved, we have a building,' &c. 
We know we have a glorious building, a double building, heaven and our 
bodies. We have two glorious houses. Heaven and these bodies shall be 
a glorious house. But how do we know this ? 

Saith he, in the second verse, ' We groan earnestly, desiring to be clothed 
upon.' There is a wondrous desire after this clothing, Kom. viii. 23 : ' The 
creature groaneth, much more we that have the first fruits of the Spirit.' 
There will be a sighing for this glory, a waiting for the blessed coming of 
Christ ; for Christ to redeem soul and body perfectly. That is the fii'st 
sign, a desire and groaning earnestly. 

In the fourth verse there is another evidence, ' He that hath wrought us 
for the same things is God.' He that hath wrought us for the blessed 
estate to come is God, So, whosoever hopes for a house in heaven, when 
this tabernacle is dissolved, he is 'wrought' for it, that is, he is a new 
creature for it. God hath wrought his soul and body for it. God fits our 
souls here to possess a glorious body after ; and he will fit the body for a 
glorious soul. So both shall be glorious ; a glorious soul and a glorious 
body. He hath ' wrought us ' for the same. If a man therefore find the 
beginning of the new creature, that it is begun to be wrought in him, he 
may know that he shall partake of this glory of the body, because he is 
' wrought ' for it. 

The third is, ' Who hath also given us the earnest of the Spirit.' Who- 
soever finds in them the Spirit of God, sanctifying their souls and bodies, 
stirring them up to holy duties, guiding, and leading, and moving them to 
holy actions, they may, from the sanctifying Spirit that is au earnest to 
them, know what shall become of their bodies : ' He hath given us the 
earnest of the Spirit.' 

To confii-m this, there is an excellent place in Kom. viii. 10, ' If any man 
have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.' ' If Christ be in you, 
the body is dead,' &c. It is a vile body : it is as good as dead ; it hath the 
sentence of death already. It is dead, in regard it is sentenced to death 
for sin, as a malefactor that hath his sentence. ' But the Spirit is life in 
regard of righteousness.' What then ? If the sanctifying Spirit of Christ 
dwell in you, ' he that raised Jesus from the dead shall also quicken 
your mortal bodies.' The same Spirit that sanctifies these souls of ours, 
and quickens them to holy duties, the same Spirit shall raise our bodies. 
As the same Spirit that sanctified the blessed mass of the body of Christ 
that he carried, and raised his body, the same Spirit that sanctifies our 
souls shall raise our bodies. The Spirit of God, when he hath begun to 
sanctify us, he never leaves us. He goes along in all changes, in life, in 
death, to the grave, as God said to Jacob, ' I will be with thee there,' Gen. 
xxxii. 28, seq. The Spirit of God he will mould our dead bodies, and make 
them Hke the glorious body of Christ. The Spirit of God never leaves our 
souls or bodies. Therefore, if we find the earnest of the Spirit, if we find 
the work of the Spirit, or the comfort of the Spirit, which is the term the 
Scripture gives, 'joy in the Holy Ghost, and peace of conscience,' together 
with the Spirit sanctifying us, especially in the time of trouble, when God 
sees his children have most need, they have the earnest of the Spirit, the 
beginnings of grace and joy, the beginnings of heaven upon eaith. By 



this they may know,_ as the first fruit is, so likewise is the harvest ; as the 
earnest is, even so is the bargain ; as we have it now in our souls, so we 
shall also have it in our bodies and souls hereafter. These three grounds 
St Paul hath, why his hope of heaven was a good hope. We groan for it, 
and we are wrought for it, we are fitted for it. There is no man can hope 
to be glorious in his body, but his soul must bo fitted for it. It must be 
a fit jewel for so glorious a casket, a fit inhabitant for so glorious a 
temple as the body shall be. The body shall be fitted for the soul, and 
the soul for the body : they are ' wrought' for it. And then he hath given 
us '_ the earnest of the Spirit.' What need I quote further evidences, the 
Scripture being thus pregnant ? 

I beseech you, often consider your desires, whether you be content to 
live here alway or no, to satisfy the vile lusts of your body ; or whether 
you desire ' to be dissolved and to be with Christ,' when you have done 
the work that God sent you for into the world. If we be content to abase 
ourselves for God here, who hath provided so much glory for us hereafter, 
and when_ the time comes, we can desire to be dissolved and to be with 
Christ, it is a good sign, — if we have the beginnings of the new creature, 
' ye are wrought for it'— that our souls are fitted for a glorious body. We 
have ' the earnest of the Spirit,' the same Spirit that sanctifieth our souls, 
and that quickens our souls with joy and peace, the same Spirit shall raise 
our bodies. Comfort yourselves, you that are Christians, though you be 
weak, with this, that if you have but the earnest of the Spirit, undoubtedly 
you shall have a glorious house, instead of this tabernacle of dust. 

Christ ' will change these vile bodies, that they shall be fashioned like 
his glorious body.' I beseech you, therefore, oft think of this ; think of 
the time to come, comfort yourselves with things to come. In 1 Thep. 
IV. 18, St Paul would have us talk one to another often of this. This 
should be the matter of our conference : not only the state of the church, 
and our own estate here, but how it shall be with us when we are gone 
hence ; how it shall be with us world without end hereafter. We should 
confer and speak, and oft meditate and think of these things. 

What can be grievous, — what can be over-burdensome to that soul that 
knpws it hath the pledge and earnest of glory hereafter ? How doth it 
quicken the soul to any endeavour, when once we know that howsoever we 
abase ourselves here, yet we shall have glorious bodies hereafter ! It will 
quicken us to any endeavour, to anything for Christ. Therefore let us oft 
think of our estate to come : let us set our thoughts forward to the time 
to come ; let faith make the times to come present, and that will make us 
heavenly-minded. What made St Paul converse as if he were in heaven ? 
Faith made the estate to come present ; and hope, which is grounded on 
faith, it looks to Christ's' coming to change our vile bodies. So faith and 
hope they make the soul look upward, they make it heavenly-minded. 

Our souls are dull, and our bodies are dull in this world, but as iron, if 
it be touched with a loadstone, up it will ; so if we get faith and hope to 
look forward, what shall be done to us for the time to come ! The Spirit 
of faith and hope, if it touch the soul, will carry our dull bodies and our 
dead souls upward. 

Therefore let us cherish our faith and hope by often meditation of the 
blessed estate to come, and think of these two things, of the excellent 
estate of our bodies and souls then. For if our bodies shall then be glo- 
rious like the body of Christ, our souls much more ; the inhabitant, which 
IS the special part, the soul shall be much more glorious. Let us think oft 


of tliis glory as it is described in the word. It transcends our thouglits. 
We cannot think high enough of it, and our interest and assurance of it. 
And daily search ourselves, whether our hope be good or no, that we have 
found evidence that our title is good to glory. Let us examine ourselves 
by those signs I named before. Where are our desires ? What work hath 
the Spirit of God in us ? How do we use these bodies of ours ? As we use 
them now, we must look they shall be used hereafter. Let our tongues be 
our glory now, and they shall be glorious tongues afterward to praise God 
in heaven. Their bodies that have been glorious here shall be glorious in 
heaven. We may read our estate to come by what we are here. Those 
that carry themselves basel_y, and filthily, and dishonourably here, we may 
know what will become of them hereafter. Let us oft think of the estate 
to come, and of our interest in it ; and both these together, the excellency 
of the estate, and our interest in it, without deceiving of our souls, what life 
will it put into all our carriage ! What will be grievous to us in this world 
when our souls are thus settled ? Oh, let us spend a few days fruitfully 
and painfully here amongst men, and do all the good we can ; and use these 
bodies of ours to all the happy and blessed services we can ! Why ? We 
shall have glory more than we can imagine. 

Let it comfort us in the hour of death, what death soever we die, or are 
designed to. Now you know the sickness is abroad ; and alas ! those 
bodies especially are vile bodies that are under the visitation : so that their 
dearest friends dare not come near them. Yet let this comfort us. They 
are vile bodies for a time. Put case we die the death that may hinder 
the comforts of this life. Those that die in much honour and pomp, and 
have their bodies embalmed, do all what the^^ can with the body, it will 
come to dust and rottenness. It will be vile in death, or after death, at 
one time or other ; and those that die never so vile and violent a death 
for God's sake, those that die of this base death, that they are deprived 
of much comfort, yet let it comfort them, Christ will transform their 
vile bodies to be glorious. 

They talk much of the philosopher's stone, that it will change metals 
into gold. PIcre is the true stone that will change our vile bodies to be 
glorious. Let us die never so base or violent a death. Let us comfort 
oui'selves in our own death, if it be thus with us, and in the death of our 
friends ; these vile bodies, when they are most vile in death, they shall be 
made like the glorious body of Christ. Let us oft think of these things. 


(a) P. 167. ' The Emperor Constantine would kiss the very holes of the eyes of 
those that had their eyes pulled out, that had been martyred.' Cf. Memoir of Con- 
stantine, witli valuable references, in Dr Smith's Dictionary of Biography and 
Mythology, sub voce. G. 




' The Art of Contentment ' forms the last of the sermons of the ' Saint's Cordials, 
published in 1637 and 1658. It had previously been No. 1 of the first edition, 1629. 
The text of 1637 is followed in our reprint. In Vol. IV. pp 75-111 will be found 
a specimen of the ' various readings ' of the editions of 1637 and 1658 on a com- 
parison with that of 1629. These may suffice. The result of a minute collation 
shews that the edition of 1637 presents a careful revision and enlargement of ttie 
anonymous, and, I suspect, surreptitious edition of 1629. Instead therefore of encum- 
bering our margins, and distracting the reader with these corrections and improve- 
ments of the first edition, it has been deemed better to make the edition of 1637 
our text in the remainder, leaving it to those curious in such matters to compare 
the other two therewith, in tbe way ' Judgment's Reason ' in Vol. IV. is exhibited. 
The edition of 1637, let it be understood, represents Sibbes's cum version of his sermons, 
either from fuller ' Notes,' or from a revision of that of 1629. 

' For the general title-page of the three editions of ' The Saint's Cordials,' see Vol. IV. 
p. 60. The separate title-page of ' The Art of Contentment ' will be found below.* 
It may be proper to state, that the text of 'The Art of Contentment' now given is 
less full than in the first edition, the explanation being that the suppressed passages 
had been appropriated in other sermons in the intervah G. 



In one Sermon. 

_f That this Art of Contentment is a Mysterie. 

That Gods Children are carried, and know how to behave 
themselves in variety of Conditions. 

How this hard Lesson is learned. 

What Infirmities are. 

The right use of them. 
■{ That Christianity is a biisie trade. 

The way how one is said to doe all things. 

What it is to doe things Evangelically. 

When a Christian can doe all things. 

Why he failes when he failes. 

Where his strength is. 
! Lastly, The skill to fetch strength from Christ. 

2 Sam. 15. 25, 26. 
Then the King said unto Zadok, Carry the Arke q/ God back againe into the 
Citie : If I shall find favour in the eyes of (he Lord, he will briny me again, 
and shew me both it and the Taber7iacle thereof. 
But if he thus say, I have no dcliyht in thee, Behold, here am I, let him doe to 
me as seemeth good in his eyes. 


Printed for R. Dawlman, at the brazen Serpent in 

Pauls Churchyard. 1687.t 

t The imprint of the first edition, 1629, is, ' London, Printed for Robert Dolman 
in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the Brazen Serpent. 1629,' and of the third, 
1658, ' London, Printed for Henry Cripps at his Shop in Pope's-head Alley. 1658.' 
The former has the woodcut described in note, Vol. IV. p. 60. — G. 


I have learned, in what estate soever I am, to he content. I know Jww to le 
abased, and how to abound : everywhere, in all things, I am instructed both 
to he full and to he hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do 
all things through Christ tluit strengtheneth me. — Philip. IV. 11, 12, 13. 

The words are the blessed apostle's concerning himself, expressing the 
glorious power of the Spirit of God in a strong and grown Christian, and 
are to wipe away the imputation of worldliness in the apostle, serving 
herein also for a pattern to all God's children, that they may learn by his 
example that as they must be careful to avoid all blemishes and imputations, 
so especially that of worldliness, as being most contrary to the profession 
of a Christian, who hath an ' high calling,' and whose ' hope is in heaven,' 
Philip, iii. 14, 

The Philippians had sent Paul some relief ; and lest they should think 
that he expected great matters, he tells them that he had ' learned to be con- 
tent in what estate soever he was.' 

It is not amiss sometimes for God's children to speak of themselves, as 
Paul here as to other good ends so also to avoid false imputations in the way 
of just apology,* and likewise to be exemplary to weaker Christians. Is 
not the doctrine of contentment and the power of grace in all estates better 
learned by this blessed example of Paul, when he speaks thus of himself, 
' I have learned, in what estate soever I am, to be content : to want, and to 
abound,' &c., than if he had weakly said, Be content with your present 
condition ? The Scriptures be intended for practice ; and therefore it is 
that there are so many examples in them, to shew the power of God's 
Spirit. This is the end of Paul's speaking so of himself, ' I have 
learned,' &c. 

To come to the words. First, In general he sets down the poiver of God's 
Spirit in him in regard of that blessed grace of contentment. 'I have 
learned, in what estate I am, therewith to be content.' 

And then he doih. parcel out this general into j^articidar conditions in this 
same state, ' I know how to be abased, and how to abound.' 

And then he ivraj^s up all in general again, ' I can do aU things,' &c. 

But lest this should seem to be somewhat vain-glorious, ' I can do all 
* That is, 'defence.— G. 

VOL. v. M 


tilings,' as if lie were omnipotent (in some sense, indeed, a Christian is 
omnipotent), therefore he adds, ' I can do all things,' but with a blessed 
correction, ' through Christ that strengthoneth me.' 

' I have learned,' saith he, ' I am instructed.' It is very significant in 
the original, viz., I am consecrated to this knowledge of contentment in 
all estates (a). It is a learning not of great persons, or of learned persons, 
but of holy persons. It is a mystical knowledge. There is a mystery in 
it. For as all religion is a mystery, — ' great is the mystery of godliness,' — 
not only the speculative part, but likewise the practical part of it, so 
every part of rehgion is a mystery, repentance a mystery, faith a mystery, 
and this practical part of contentment in all conditions is a great mystery. 
And therefore St Paul saith he is instructed in it, as a consecrated person, 
having in him the Spirit of God. All the degrees in this world cannot 
teach this lesson that Paul had learned, ' to be contented.' He learned 
it in no school of the world, not at the feet of Gamaliel ; he learned it 
of Christ, and by blessed experiences in afilictions. Some graces are 
reserved for some estates. He had learned patience and contentment in 
variety of estates. He had it not by nature, for he saith, * I have learned.' 
It is a mystical thing, not so easily attained unto as the world is fondly * 
persuaded. Your ordinary Christian thinks that religion is nothing, that 
it is easily learned ; whereas there is no point in religion but is a mysteiy. 
There is no Christian but he finds it to be so when he sets himself heartily 
to go through any religious work ; as to humble himself, to repent, to 
go out of himself, and to cast himself upon the mercy of God in Christ. 
Oh, will he then say, it is a mystery. There is a difficulty in this work 
that I never thought of till I came to it. And so to be content with our 
condition, whatsoever the case be, to bring our hearts low, it is a mysteiy. 
Nature never teacheth this. It is learned in the school of Christ, and 
not without many stripes. We must be proficients a good while before we 
can learn to any purpose this one lesson of contentment in any condition. 
But the last verse is that which I will now dwell on, wherein we may see 
three things observable. 

First, I'ltat God carries his cliildren in this urjrhl through varictu of con- 
ditions. They sometimes want, and sometimes abound. Their condition 
is sometimes more comfortable than at others. That is the first point. 

2. The second is. That in this variety of conditions, as they know what it 
is to iirint and to abound, so in all variety of conditions they know how to 
carry themselves . 

Thirdly, They know in all variety of conditions how to avoid the sins in- 
cident to that condition. As there are graces belonging to every state, so there 
are sins incident to every condition. And the child of God hath learned 
to practise the one, and to avoid the other. 

1. First, God's children know what it is to want, and to alonnd by e.rperievce. 
God leads them through variety of conditions. Their estate is not always 
one and the same. 

Quest. Wliat is the reason of this dispensation in God thus to rule his 
children, to bring them to heaven by variety of conditions ? 

Sol. Among many other reasons this is one, that their yraces may be tried. 
Every grace that brings a Christian to heaven must be a tried grace. He 
must try his patience, his contentment, his humility. How shall these 
graces be tried but in variety of estates and conditions ? And secondly. How 
should we have experience of the goodness of God but in variety of estates "? 
* That is, ' foolislily.— G. 


When we find the stable, certain, constant love of God in variety of con- 
ditions, that howsoever our conditions ebb and flow, be up and down, like 
the spring weather, sometimes fliir and sometimes foul, yet notwithstand- 
ing the love of God is constant always, and we have never so sure experience 
of it as in the variety of conditions that befall us ; then we know that in 
God there is 'no shadow of changing,' howsoever the changes of our life 
be. Is it not a point worth our learning, to know the truth of our grace, 
and to know the constancy of God's love, with whom we are in a gracious 
covenant '? And then again, we learn much wisdom how to manage our 
life hereby, even in the intercourse of our changes, to be now rich, now 
poor, now high, now low in estate. Wisdom is gotten by experience in 
variety of estates. He that 'is carried on in one condition, he hath no 
wisdom to judge of another's estate, or to carry himself to a Christian in 
another condition, because he was never abased himself. He looks very 
big at him. He knows not how to tender* another, that hath not been in 
another's condition. And therefore to furnish us, that we may carry our- 
selves as Christians, meekly, lovingly, and tenderly to others, God will 
have us go to heaven in variety, not in one uniform condition in regard of 
outward things. 

Use. Learn hence not to quarel iiiih GocVs government; for though he 
alters our conditions, yet he never alters his love. A Christian is un- 
moveable in regard of the favour of God to him, and in regard of sanctify- 
ing grace. In all moveable conditions he hath a fixed condition. Therefore 
let us not find fault with God's dispensation, but let him do as he pleases. 
So he bring us to heaven, it is no matter what wav, how rugged it be, so 
he bring us thither. 

2. The second general thing is this. That in this variety of conditions, 
God's children know how to carry themselves. As they know what it is to 
want and to abound, so they know how to abound and be abased as they 
should do. For there is no condition but a Christian may pick good 
matter out of it. As a good artsman will make a good piece of work of 
an ill piece of matter sometimes, to shew his skill, so a Christian can frame 
matter that is good out of any condition ; ho knows how to want, and how 
to abound, and that with the expression of graces too. He can practise 
the graces that ought and may be practised in all conditions. For instance, 
he can abound ; that is, with expressing the gi'aces that should be in 
abundance, which is, thankfulness to God; he hath, in abundance, a spirit 
of thankfulness ; he hath a spirit to be a faithful steward in abundance ; a 
spirit to honour God with his abundance. He hath a spirit to be humble 
in abundance, knowing all is as ' grass and the flower of the field.' He 
can be humble, he can stoop under the mighty hand of God, he can have 
experience in the abasement of the vanity of worldly favour, and worldly 
greatness. He learns what it is, and so he can learn patience, and all 
other graces that are to be practised in a mean estate. It were too long to 
name particulars ; a Christian can do this. Grace is above all conditions. 
It can manage and rule all estates of life. It makes them serviceable to its 
own ends. A gracious man is not dejected over much with abasement ; he 
is not lifted up over much with abundance, but he carries himself in a uni- 
form manner, becoming a Christian in all conditions. 

3. The third general thing is. He can want and he can abound, vithont 
tainting himself over much with the sins of those conditions. For instance, he 

* That is, ' touch,' = make tender, move, or qu. ' care for ' ? = regard. Cf. 
Richardson, sub voce. — G. 


can abound without pride, though it be a hard matter. Abundance works 
upon the soul of a man. He had need to have a strong brain that digests 
abundance ; it is a wild untamed thing. And we see by experience in 
God's children how hard a matter it is for them to manage abundance. 
We see how it wrought upon Solomon and David. They were better in 
adversity, 1 Kings, xi. 1, 2 Sam. xi. 2 ; and yet notwitstanding the child 
of God hath grace even to overcome the sins that are incident to abundance. 
He hath grace to be lowly-minded in a great estate ; not to trust to un- 
certain riches ; he knows by the Spirit of God what they are, and that he 
hath an inheritance of better things in another world, which teacheth him 
to set a light esteem upon all things below. 

And so for dejection ; the sin that we are subject to fall into in want, is 
putting forth onr hands to evil means, to shift.* God's child can learn to 
want without tainting his conscience with ill courses, and then he can want 
without impatience, without too much dejection of spirit ; as if all were 
lost ; whenas, indeed, a Christian in a manner is rich all alike. For God 
is his portion, and howsoever a beam may be took awa}^ the sun is his ; 
take away a stream, the spring is his ; in the poorest estate, God all-suffi- 
cient is his still ; and so in a manner a Christian is rich all alike. God 
never takes away himself. Gen. xvii. 1. He knows this, and therefore he 
can want, he can be abased as long as he hath the spring of all. Though 
a cistern be took away, he cares not, he can want and abound without 
murmuring, without dejection of spirit. Whereas those that have not been 
brought np in Christ's school, nor trained up in variety of conditions, are 
able to do nothing. If they abound, they are proud; if they be cast down, 
they murmur and fret, and are dejected, as if there were no Providence to 
rule the world, as if they were fatherless children. This is the excellency 
of a Christian, that as he knows what it is to abound by experience, so he 
knows how to abound with the practice of the graces, and how to want with 
the avoiding of the snares that usually are in that condition. 

Obj. _ But hath a Christian learned this at the first ? 

Ans. No ; he learns it not very easily, nor very soon. Self-denial is the 
first lesson in Christ'' s school : to have no wit of our own further than Christ's 
wisdom ; to have no will of our own further than his commandment guides 
us ; and he that hath learned self-denial, he is in a great way to learn this 
blessed lesson of contentment in any condition whatsoever. So that every 
Christian hath some degree of that, as he can deny himself. But there 
are many things to be learned before we can come to carry ourselves wisely 
in any condition. 

For besides self-denial, we must learn the doctrine of the covenant of grace, 
that God in Christ is become a Father to us, and carries a fatherly mind 
to us. In what condition soever we are, he is a father still, and intends us 
well, and will provide for us in the hardest condition. Having took the 
relation of a father upon him, do you think that he will fail in the carriage 
of a father towards us '? He is pitiful to us, he respects us in the basest 
condition. He that knows God to be his father, cast him into what con- 
dition you will, knows he hath a good portion. 

And then we must know the doctrine of the jyrovidence of this Father, that 
all shall work together for the best to those that love him, Kom. viii. 28, 
want and abundance, prosperity and afflictions, whatsoever. God by his 
overruling power will bring all things to this blessed issue, to help forward 
the eternal good of his child. A man must know this, and divers the like 
* That is, = to resort to expedients. — G. 



things that are to be known, before he can learn this blessed lesson of con- 
tentment. There is a venom and a vanity in everything without grace, 
wherewith we are tainted ; but when grace comes, it takes out the sting of 
all ill, and then we find a good in the worst. There is a vanity in the best 
things, and there is a good in the worst. Grace picks out the good out of 
the worst ; as God turns all to good, so grace finds good in every condition. 
The Spirit of God sanctifies a Christian to all conditions, and sanctifies 
every condition to him. Now, I beseech you, think of this that I have 
said, which I wish without further enlargement may add to your care, and 
desire to be in the happy condition of Christians. What a blessed thing 
is it to be in the covenant of grace, to have God to be our father, to be in 
Christ, that let our condition outwardly be what it will be, we shall have 
grace to carry ourselves in it, God will go along with us by his Holy Spu-it ! 
What a blessed thing is it, in all the uncertainties of the world, to have a 
certain rule to go by, as a Christian hath, which carries him along in all 
the uncertainties in this world ! None but a Christian hath this. ' I have 
learned,' saith Paul. When did he learn it? Not before he was a 
Christian. This I could desire to press, but that I have other things to 
speak of, to make us in love with religion, with the state of Christians, that 
is thus above all conditions whatsoever, and can rule all other conditions. 
A Christian is not at the mercy of the world ; his contentment is not a 
dependent contentment. You may cast him into prison, you may impo- 
verish him, you may labour to debase and disgrace him ; but can you take 
away his comfort ? Can you take away his grace ? Can you take away 
the love of God ? No ; God will rather increase all upon him. For the 
best things of a Christian are not at the mercy of the world, nor at the 
mercy of his several conditions. Prosperity and adversity, these are out 
of him. He hath a state depending upon the good will and pleasure of 
his Father, that loves him better than he loves himself, and out of lovo 
will work good out of the worst condition that can befall him. So I hasten 
to that which follows. 

4. Having spoken in particular, then he comes to the general, wherein 
he wraps up all : 'I can do all things, but in Christ that strengthens me.' 
Here is, 

1. First of all. The llessed apostles ahiJily, ' I can do all things.' 

2. And then here is, secondly, the spring of his ahilify, ivhence he hath 
it: ' I can do all things, but in Christ that strengthens me.' 

In the apostle's ability you have, 

1. His strength itself. 2. The enlargement of it. 

' I am able.' And what to do ? A few things ? No ; ' all things.' 
The point of doctrine offered is this, that a Christian man is an able man. 
Whosoever hath the Spirit of Christ is an able man, and his ability is a 
large ability ; he is able to do all things. Take doing in a transcendent 
sense, not only to do, but take it to resist ill, to resist temptation, to sufier 
aflliction, to enjoy prosperity, to break off sinful courses, and to take a new 
course, to practise all duties ; for so the apostle means ' I can do,' that is, 
I can carry myself in all conditions, I can express all graces, I can resist 
all temptations, I can sufier all afflictions, I can do all this. What is the 
reason a Christian is so able ? 

1. Because, first of all, he hath a stronger and abler spirit than his aim. 
The Spirit of God is a spirit of strength, 2 Tim. i. 8. It is_ the Spirit of 
power, which is the soul of his soul, and the life of his life. Now the 
strength of a man is in his spirit. The stronger spirit makes the abler man, 


and the Spirit of God being the strongest of spirits, indeed the strength 
of spirits, it makes a Christian in whom it dwells the ablest man. 

2. And then again, A Christian is a new creature ; therefore he is furnished 
with abilities fit for the new creature. "When Adam was created he was 
endued with all graces fit for an entire state. As when God made heaven 
he made stars to beautify heaven ; when he made the earth, he made trees 
and flowers ; so, when he made man, he furnished him with graces, and 
fitted him for that estate. Now after the fall, when God brings a man in 
Christ to be a new creatui-e, he hath abilities to furnish him for that new 

3. And then again. Even/ particular fjrace of the new creature is a grace 
of strength. As the Spirit is a strong Spirit, so the spirit of love is as 
strong as death, it hath a ' constraining power,' 2 Cor. v. 14. The Spirit 
of God is so strong in his children, that are truly his, that it makes them 
even with willingness to lay down their lives, that is dearest to them in 
this world. Here is a sweet kind of tyranny in the affection of love, that 
will carry a man through thick and thin, through all, and that with pleasure, 
willingly and comfortably too ; as the apostles were glad to suffer anything 
for Christ's sake, their hearts were so enlarged with a spirit of love. The 
spirit of faith it is a strong and mighty spirit, an able spirit. It conquers 
God himself, as Jacob wrestled with the wrestlings of God, and by the 
strength of God overcame God, Hosea xii. 3, 4. And the woman of Canaan 
overcame Christ by the strength she had from Christ, Mat. xv. 28. In the 
sense of God's displeasure it will believe God's favour in Christ, and is able 
to break through the thickest clouds of discomfort whatsoever, and to see the 
loving face of God. In a base condition it can struggle with God, saying 
with Job, ' Though he kill me, yet will I trust in him,' Job xiii. 15. It is 
a strong grace. Faith prevails with almighty Gocl. It prevails in all 
inferior conditions whatsoever. You see the fruit and strength of all graces 
is attributed to faith, Heb. xi. 33. By faith they overcame, by faith they 
were strong, and did this and that ; insinuating that faith is not only a 
strong grace in itself, but it gives vigour and strength to all graces. And 
so we see love, 1 Cor. xiii. 4, it is not only a strong grace, but the office 
of other graces is attributed unto it. It suffers long, which is the office of 
patience. What should I speak of other graces, these radical and funda- 
mental graces being of such force ? Now every Christian in some measure 
hath a spirit of faith and a spirit of love, and these are very strong, to 
carry him through all estates and conditions ; and that with such glory and 
lustre that every one may wonder at the condition of a Christian. Even 
in the worst estate he hath a spirit not of the world but above the world. 
This faith overcomes the world ; and he that is in them, the Spirit of God, 
is stronger than he that is in the world, 1 John iv. 4. 

To proceed to a further demonstration of a Christian man's ability, which 
is intimated unto us in his very name. What is the name of a Christian ? 
' Anointed.' The Spirit of God is compared to oil. What is the virtue of 
oil ? It is to make nimble, for the Spirit of God makes Christians nimble ; 
and oil it makes strong. The wrestlers were wont to be anointed before- 
hand with oil ; so the Spirit of God makes Christians strong. The virtue 
of oil anointing is to be above. Jumble it together with other liquors, it 
is a regal liquor, it will have the pre-eminence, and be above. So grace, 
although it be mingled with corruption, the Spirit of grace and faith at last 
■will apear, the Spirit of God will be above all, at length it will work itself 
clear. In all temptations, a Christian as a Christian is an able man. If 


he be answerable to his own name, if he be not an hypocrite, he hath an 
ability in him, he can do more than the world. 

Use 1. First of all then, learn here, that religion is not a matter of word, 
nor stands upon words, as wood consists of trees. To speak thus and thus, 
it may come from parts, from memory, and wit ; but religion is a matter of 
power, it makes a man able. It made Paul, what ! To speak only ? No ; 
his learning made him able to do all things. It is a matter of practice, 
and there is nothing so speculative in religion but it tends to practice. 
Religion is an art, not of great men, not of mighty men, but of holy men. 
It is an art and trade. A trade is not learned by words, but by experience ; 
and a man hath learned a trade, not when he can talk of it, but when he 
can work according to his trade. So we see Paul shews his learning he 
speaks of before, by his ability. The point of the Trinity it is a speculative 
point, and it tends to practice. First, to be a foundation of our worship, 
that we worship one God in three persons. And then it tends to shew the 
unity among Christians, that God will work among Christians at length, 
that they shall be all one in some sort, as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost 
are one : which, though it be a point of high and deep speculation, yet it 
tends to practice. Now if the sublime and high points do, what point is 
there in religion but it tends to practice ? And therefore let us not please 
ourselves that we have deep understandings, but let us shew our under- 
standings by our practice. As the sheep shews how he thrives in his 
pasture by his wool and fleece, so shew how thou profitest in religion, by 
being enabled with the power of grace, that carries thee through all con- 
ditions, to avoid the sins and to express the graces in such conditions. So 
much grace as thou hast to carry thyself thus, so much ability thou hast, 
and so much religion. 

Use 2. If a Christian be an able man, I beseech you, let it serve to try 
ourselves hij this scaiitliinf- that I have spoken of. Is Christianity a point of 
strength and abihty ? Let us try the truth of our estate then. Thou wouldst 
be a Christian ; what canst thou do then ? What sin canst thou resist ? 
What canst thou bear ? What holy duty canst thou do ? How canst thou 
enjoy the good blessings that God sends thee, without defiling of thyself 
with those blessings, that thou art not proud of the riches nor of the honour 
thou hast ? Grace manageth all conditions. Thus, if thou be a Christian, 
answer thy name ; if not, thou art a hypocrite yet. For a Christian in 
some measure is able ' to do all things, through Christ that strengtheneth 
him. I beseech you, let us not deceive ourselves. The best of us all 
may mourn for our want in this kind. Our consciences tell us that we 
might have done a great deal more than we have ; that God would have 
enabled us if we had not been false-hearted, and betrayed ourselves, and 
been negligent in the use of the means, to have done a great deal more 
than we do. What a shame is it for Christians, that indeed have some 
truth of grace in them, that they cannot be a little abased in the world, but 
they are a la mort.f Why, where is the power of grace ? They cannot be 
lift up in their condition a little, but they will scant know their brother of 
low degi'ee. Where is religion now ? What hast thou better in thee than 
a worldling hath ? Nay, a heathen man, out of principles of morality, would 
learn to conform his carriage, outwardly at the least, better than thou. Let 
us learn therefore to shame ourselves when we find any murmuring and 
rising of corrupt nature in any condition whatsoever, and know that this 

* Cf. note a, Vol. I. page 117.— G. 

t That is, ' deadened ' = dead-afraid. — G. 


becomes not a Cliristian. This is it which the apostle presscth so oft, that 
we should carry ourselves as becometh Christians. Oh, doth this become 
a Christian ? A Christian should be able to do all things through Christ 
that strengtheneth him. What a shame is it for a professor of religion to 
be as worldly, as distracted with cares, as passionate, if he be a little 
touched, as a man that professeth no religion at all ? Where is the power, 
where is the glory and credit of religion here ? I beseech you, let us be 
ashamed, and know that our profession requireth that we should be able. 

Use 3. Again, Tins answers the common ohjcction of carnal men. They 
ward oif all reproofs with this. Tell them of their faults, why it is my 
infirmity, it is my weakness. Is it so ? Ai't thou a Christian or no ? If 
thou be a Christian, thou labourest for strength against thy weakness ; 
thou dost not make a plea for it. There is weakness indeed in the best ; 
but that is the matter of their humiliation, and the object of their mortifi- 
cation. It is not their plea for idleness, to give themselves to sinful courses. 
Men therefore make a false plea of infirmities and weaknesses. There is 
no infirmity in a carnal man that hath not the Spirit of Christ. He is 
dead. There is no weakness in a dead person. In regard of civil car- 
riages there may be weakness in such a man. He may be passionate, he 
may be froward, unbeseeming a man that is civil ; but that is not in the 
rank we speak of. None can have infirmities but a Christian that hath the 
life of grace in him in sincerity and truth. And therefore if thou discover 
that thou hast not the truth of grace, never say it is thy infirmity. To 
shew what infirmities be, I rank them to three heads. 

1. In the first rank of infirmities are the imperfection of good actions, which 
are either distractions and deadness in prayer and hearing ; or invincible 
infirmities, of which as an ancient father saith well, ' Lord, deliver me from 
my miserable necessities' (h). A man may be in such a state sometimes 
in regard of the temper of the body, it being out of tune, that he cannot 
pray as he would do. ' The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,' saith 
our Saviour, Mat. xsvi. 41. It was almost an invincible necessity in the 
apostles then. Again, we might resist, and we might be more cheerful than 
we are ofttimes. But sometimes there may be such distemper in the body, 
that may almost of necessity unfit us for the duty. This we call the infir- 
mity of a Christian, because he is ashamed of it, and grieved for it. 

2. Again, Infirmities are those indeliberate passions that carry us sometimes 
to actions that we shonld not do, being carried with a tempest of passion, 
when we understand not ourselves well. 

3. And lastly, It is an infirmity when ice are hindered from doi)tf/that ivhich 
tee shoidd do, upon passion, upon surprisal of some great fear and terror, that 
we are not so bold as we should be to stand out in a cause on the sudden, as 
Peter was surprised with a spirit of fear that he should lose his life. Mat. 
xxvi. 70. It was no presumption in him, it was an infirmity in the blessed 
apostle for that time. These then be the signs of infirmities : to have 
invincible imperfections, or distraction and deadness, accompanying our 
good actions ; to be carried in the heat and tempest of passion to that 
which afterwards we are ashamed of and repent for ; or to be hindered from 
that we should do by some prevailing passion. 

But otherwise infirmities are not, when we live in them, when we make 
a custom of them. Customary sins are not sins of infirmity, but the sins that 
we fall into, that we are overtaken with, on the sudden. Only in some cases 
a man may live in a sin of infirmity, when the ground of the infirmity is 
rooted within him, and he hath not yet purged out the root. As for instance, 


a man by temper prone to anger may live long in that infirmity, being 
many times inordinately pettish and peevish, because he carries about him 
the root, temper of the body, and inclination that way. Now he that lives 
in such an infirmity repents daily, and gets ground of it ; he is still hewing 
at the root, and at length, at the last stroke it falls, and he gets the victory 
over it. 

Again, A sin of infirmity is not a sin that u-e plead for. A man is ashamed 
of his infirmities ; he is grieved for them. Now when a man pleads for them, 
and makes them a shelter and cover-shade to go on in sinful courses, they 
are not infirmities. Therefore whosoever pleads for sins discovers a false 
heart ; his sins are enormities, not infirmities. A Christian gets the better 
of infirmities. After he falls, he riseth stronger and stronger still. But 
when a man grows worse and worse, and is habituated in an evil course, it 
is not an infirmity, because he grows not out of it. Let us not deceive 
ourselves with this plea, to say, It is my weakness, A Christian should 
be ashamed to plead this ; he should be able to do all things. AVell, you 
see then this point is clear, that a Christian is an able man, he hath a 
strength above nature in him, notwithstanding all his infirmities. This 
will appear more in the second branch, in the generality, he is able to do 
' all things.' 

To come to that, therefore, there are many things required of a Christian, 
Christianity is a busy trade. If we look up to God, what a world of things 
are required in a Christian to carry himself as he should do ! A spirit of 
faith, a spirit of love, a spirit of joy, and delight in him above all. And if 
we look to men, there are duties for a Christian to his superiors, a spirit 
of subjection. And duties to equals, to carry a spirit of love ; and to 
inferiors a spirit of pity and bounty. If we look to Satan, we have many 
duties, to resist him and to watch against the tempter. If we look to the 
world, it is full of snares. There must be a great deal of spiritual watch- 
fulness, that we be not surprised. If we look to ourselves, there are 
required many duties, to carry our vessels in honour, and to walk within 
the compass of the Holy Ghost, to preserve the peace of our consciences, 
to walk answerable to our worth, as being the sons of God and co-heirs 
with Christ. The state of a Christian is no idle condition. Sometimes a 
Christian is in this state, sometimes in that ; and then he must have these 
graces, and anon use other graces ; he must have a suit of all graces, fit for 
all conditions. Now answerable to the variety of all the duties that are 
required of him, he must have ability ; and therefore the apostle saith, ' I 
can do all things through Christ.' 

5. So then the point of doctrine is this, that the trial of a sincere Chris- 
tian's estate is universality of obedience. Universality of carriage in all con- 
ditions is the trial of Christian sincerity. He must dispense with himself 
in no sin, and he must be a vessel prepared for every good work, ' a vessel 
of glory,' as the apostle speaks, 2 Tim. ii. 21. He must baulk no service 
that God calls him to. What is the reason of this ? 

The reason is, because a Christian hath the sanctifying Spirit, and the 
sanctifying Spirit hath the seeds of all graces in it; so that where it is, thei'e 
is the subduing of all sin in the root. And then all graces are answerable 
to the commandments of God in all duties, and to the avoiding of all sins. 
And therefore James saith pregnantly to this purpose, he that ' ofiends in 
one is guilty of all,' ii, 10. 

Use 1. Let us take heed ice plead not immunity and freedom from some 
things, and think that the good we do in some kind may excuse the bad 


we do in others. You have some that will take liberty in an unclean con- 
versation, because they are bountiful and liberal ; and they will take Hberty 
to be oppressive in their callings, because they attend upon the means of 
salvation. Oh no ! take heed of that carriage that is against the profes- 
sion of religion. There must be an universal disposition to all graces and 
to all duties, though they be never so contrary and cross to corrupt nature. 
The devil knows well where to have some men, for he sees they mind some 
sin, and are careless in the practice of other duties ; and therefore, in the 
horn- of temptation, the devil will surprise such men, and it will be a ground 
of despau- if they take not heed. Put the case a man will say this, I can 
part with all things else. Oh, but I cannot die : I can be content to be 
imprisoned, but I cannot endure to be disgraced. Let a man dispense and 
favour himself but in one thing, and when the time comes he will be dis- 
covered to be but an hypocrite. Then Satan will work upon that, and 
there he will be shaken in his condition. By reason that he did not learn 
self-denial perfectly, he hath not grace disposing him to the practice of all 
Christian duties. He hath not learned to know God in covenant, to sup- 
ply his wants of honour, credit, wife and children, and all that he is to 
part withal for Christ's sake. Now he that hath not learned this in reso- 
lution, though God do not yet call him to it, by entering into his own 
soul, and asking himself what he can part with, and what he can resist 
for Christ's sake, ' What can I endure ? what can I suffer ?' If his heart 
do not tell him, I can part with all, I will rather endure death itself, 
rather endure shame, or any thing, than break the peace of a good con- 
science, and grieve the Spirit of God. If he cannot answer his soul thus, 
surely I can speak little comfort to that man. For we see a Christian must 
be able to do all things ; that is, to resist all ill, to practise all duty, to 
break oft' all sinful courses. 

Quest. But some will object, May not a Christian be subject to some 
especial sin ? 

Ans. Yes, he may. God, for especial purposes sometimes, will have 
men of eminent graces to be subject to notable infirmities. But what, do 
they plead for them ? No ; but as by temper, or by former custom, or as 
they find themselves more inclined one way than another, so they gather 
strength especially against their especial sin. And in the beginning of con- 
version, there is a blow given to the reigning sin that was before ; and as 
when Goliah was slain, and all the rest fled, 1 Sam. xvii. 51, so grace 
strikes at the Goliah. In conversion, there is a main stroke given unto 
sin. Perhaps somewhat remains still, that grace will be hewing at, and 
therefore grace may stand with an especial sin that a man is inclined to. 
But this he labours to get all strength against, as other, so strength of direc- 
tion. You shall find a Christian when he is subject to any infirmitj^, he 
will speak more learnedly, and more judiciously, with greater detestation 
against that sin that he is most prone unto than against any other. He 
labours to make up the breach where the wall is weakest. So a man may 
be a good man, and be subject to an infirmity, but then he gathers more 
strength against it. 

Use 2. Well, you see then a Christian is able to do all things through 
Christ that strengthens him. I beseech you, let us often enter into our- 
selves, and make an me of trial, also of that which hath been spoken, what 
we can do, what we can part with, what we can resist. Let us never think 
ourselves to be in such an estate as is fit to be, to comfort ourselves, till 
we can in truth and sincerity of heart renounce all whatsoever. Yet not- 



witlistanding, this must be understood evangelically, ' I can do all things.' 
What ! legally, without a flaw ? No ; * I can do all things' so far forth, as 
shall shew that I am a true Christian, and not an hypocrite ; so far as shall 
bo beautiful in the eye of others, to allure them to the embracing of reli- 
gion ; so far as shall make base spirits to envy to sec my even carriage, 
and to see the power of religion ; so far as shall put the world to silence 
for reproaching ; so far as I shall enjoy assurance of the truth of grace ; so 
far as Satan shall not get his will in every sin. Our obedience is evange- 
lical, and not legal. 

Quest. Now, what is it to do all things evangelically ? To clear that 

A)ts. To do all things evangelically is, first of all, for a man to know that 
he is in the same state of grace, and that he hath his sins pardoned, and 
that he is accepted in Christ to life and salvation. That is the ground of 
all evangelical obedience. He must know that he is in the covenant of 
grace ; that he hath the forgiveness of sins, and a right to life everlasting 
in Christ. And then comes obedience answerable to that condition ; that 
is, a desire to obey God in all things : a grief that he cannot do it so well 
as he would ; a prayer that he might do it so ; and an endeavour together 
with prayer that he may do so, and some strength likewise with endeavour. 
For a Christian, as I said before, he hath the Spirit of God, not only to 
set him to an endeavour, but to give him some strength. So there is a 
desire, and purpose, and prayer, and grief of heart, and endeavour, and 
likewise some strength in evangelical obedience. 

A Christian then in the gospel can do all things when he hath his sins 
forgiven, and is accepted in Christ, when he can endeavour to do all, and 
desire to do all, and in some measure practise all duties in truth. For the 
gospel requires truth and not perfection. That is the perfection that brings 
us to heaven in Christ our Saviour. "We have title to heaven ; in him is 
the ground, because forgiveness of sins is in him. Now a Christian's life 
is but to walk worthy of this, and to fit himself for that glorious condition 
that he hath title unto by Christ, to walk sincerely before God. Sincerity 
is the perfection of Christians. Let not Satan therefore abuse us. We do 
all things, when we endeavour to do all things, and purpose to do all things, 
and are grieved when we cannot do better. For mark, this goes with 
evangelical obedience always. God pardons that which is ill, for he is a 
Father. He hath bound himself to pardon, ' I will pity you as a father 
pitieth his child,' Ps. ciii. 13. From the very relation he hath took upon 
him, we may be assured he will pity and pardon us, and then he will accept 
of that which is good, because it is the work of his own Spirit, and will 
reward it. This in the covenant of grace he will do. A Christian can do 
all then ; and wherein he fails, God will pardon him. What is good, God 
■will accept and reward ; and what is sick and weak in him, God will heal, 
till he have made him up in Christ. 

Thus we see in what sense this is to be understood, a Christian can do 
all things through Christ. For as it is said of gold, the best gold you have 
hath allowance of such gi-ains, so take the best Christian, you must have 
some allowance. Some imperfection cleaves to him. He cannot do all 
perfectly. For then what need the covenant of grace ? He can do all 
things so as he flies to the mercy of God in Christ for Hfe everlasting. He 
can do all things required of a Christian in the covenant of grace in regard 
of sincerity. These things must be well and soundly understood, and then 
we can take no offence at the doctrine. 



Qmst. What is the cause that a Christian fails then when ho doth fail ? 

Ans. 1. A Christian fails, u-hcn he doth not ^indcrstancl the promhes of the 
new covenant of rirace, that God hath given not only promises of the pardon 
of sin, but of all kind of gi-aces, a promise of the Spirit in general. He will 
give his Spirit to those that ask it, and a promise of every other particular 
grace : that he will write his law in our hearts, and he will teach us to love 
one another, and he will put his fear into our hearts. We have not a grace 
but either there is a promise of it generally, or specially. Now when a 
Christian forgets this, he fails for want of understanding the privileges and 

Ans. 2. Again, he fails /or want of wisdom to ])lant himself in such helps, 
whereby he might be able to do all things; for it is the folly sometimes of 
Christians to be rash in venturing upon occasions ; and then he hath no 
more strength than Samson had when he adventured. He loseth his 
strength when he ventureth rashly. But if a Christian be wise to keep out 
of temptation, and to keep himself in good company and acquaintance, 
using holy means and helps to godliness, wherein the Spirit works, a wise 
Christian may perform all. 

Ans. 3. Again, /o/- icant of resolution. A Christian goes not out always 
with his spiritual armour, as he should. He goes not out with a purpose 
to please God in all things, and to avoid all sins ; but his armour is loose 
about him. If a Christian would resolve, in the power of God, to break 
through all difficulties, and to do all duties, God would second him. 
' Arise, and be doing, and the Lord will be with thee,' 1 Chron. xxii. 16. 
Let a Christian go on constantly in a good way, and he shall find expe- 
rience of God's helping of him. Without manly resolutions, a Christian 

Quest. What is the reason that a Christian many times stands in strong 
and great duties, and is foiled in little duties ? 

Ans. Because he is watchful in the one, and careless in the other. Indeed, 
it is want of will. If we would have strength, and would carry ourselves 
manfully, we might have grace to carry ourselves even to the glory of our 
profession and to the credit of it. But we willingly favour corruption, and 
are not willing to put it out of ourselves to the utmost ; whereupon we 
want much comfort that Christians should enjoy ; and hereupon come 
many breaches in our life. In a word, if a Christian were careful, there is 
no duty, but he might perform it in some measure. He may go wondrous 
high upwards, always with this exception, that he never look to be justified 
by it. For God hath not established the covenant so. That is done by 
Christ. Again, if he be careless, he may sink wondrous low. There is 
no sin but the sin against the Holy Ghost, but he may fall into it in some 

I hasten to the last point. ' I can do all things,' but how ? with what 
strength ? ' Through Christ that strengtheneth me.' 

This is to salve up an objection which might be made against the blessed 
apostle, ' I can do all things.' Here is a proud word. Oh no ; ' it is in 
Christ that strengthens me.' St Paul was wondrous cautious and careful 
to avoid spiritual pride, or the least touch of it, as it is 1 Cor. xv. 10. 
'Not I,' saith he. He checks himself presently: 'I laboured more than 
they all ; not I, but grace within me.' Of all other sins, take heed of 
spiritual pride, check it presently. ' I can do all.' Oh but, lest proud 
tlaoughts should arise, ' it is in Christ that strengtheneth me.' My strength 
is out of myself. As the heads of those rivers, that ran through paradise, 


and tliat •watered tlie city of God, they were out of paradise, so the head 
and spring of those streams that water the church of God, and particular 
Christians, they are out of themselves, they are in Christ. It is otherwise 
with us than it was in the ' first Adam.' He had strength, and had no pro- 
mise to stand. He had power to stand, if he would. But a Christian's 
strength is out of himself, in the * second Adam,' Christ. And it is well 
that it is in the keeping of so strong a Saviour, for we should forfeit it as 
Adam did, if it were in our own hands. It is derived to us, as much as he 
thinks good ; but the spring is in him. And we have not only a will, but 
the promise and ability to do good ; we do all through Christ. 

G. Bo the point of doctrine is this, that the original of a Christian's 
strength is in Christ. God is the original of all strength. But God him- 
self hath no intercourse of the new covenant with man out of the second 
person. All our comfort, and all our grace, it comes through Christ, who 
having taken our nature upon him, and having satisfied God, is fit to 
derive all grace and comfort to us. For he is near us, he is of our nature, 
and God in him is well pleased so as we may now go boldly to Christ ; 
we are bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. God himself out of Christ 
is ' a consuming fire.' Now, in Christ God favours man ; he is gracious 
and lovely to us, and we to him ; because Christ his beloved Son hath 
took our nature upon him, and now in our nature he is in heaven. So 
Christ the mediator is the fountain of all strength ; he is the spiritual 
Joseph that had laid up store for all Egypt, and all that came. He is the 
high steward of his church, the second in the kingdom of heaven ; he is 
the Joseph, he dispenseth all riches and treasures ; all are in him for the 
church's sake. In him we do all things. As we can do all things for him 
as a mediator that died for us and procured favour for us, so we can do 
all things in him as an head to whom we are united. For there must be 
union before there can be communion. As in marriage there must be a 
uniting before there be a communion of estates and conditions, so before 
we can do anything for Christ we must be in Christ. We have all as 
through Christ, as in Christ. Thence comes communion with Christ's 
Spirit. So then it is Christ by his Spirit, for he doth all by his Spirit : 
' The Lord is that Spirit,' 2 Cor. iii. 17. Christ doth all in the church 
by his Spirit. Now, the Spirit is the union of Christ, he strengthens all ; 
all our strength is by Christ's Spirit. Now, this Spirit of God first sanc- 
tifies Christ, the human nature of Christ, before he sanctifieth us. We 
have all grace and power and strength at the second hand. It comes not 
from Christ as God immediately. And grace comes not from the Holy 
Ghost immediately to us ; but the Holy Ghost first sanctifies Christ his 
human nature and then he sanctifies us, and we out of Christ's fulness 
receive grace for grace. The same Spirit that sanctified his nature in the 
womb of the virgin, and that sanctified his holy nature that now he hath 
in heaven with him, the same Spirit is sent from him to sanctify every 
member of the church. All is in the head, John i. 16. As first the 
ointment was poured on Aaron's head, and from thence it ran down to 
the skirts of his garments, Ps. csxxiii. 2, so all grace is poured upon the 
head of Christ first, and then from him upon the skirts, even upon the 
meanest Christian, as answ^erable to their portion ; and to those things 
that God means to call them to, they have grace to carry them. You see 
then how to conceive of this, how we have all in Chi-ist, that is, by the 
Spirit of Christ, and how it comes by the Spirit. 

Use 1. First of all, then, you see here how these two agree : a Christian, 


-when lie is a Cliristian, hath freedom of will and power. He hath power and 
free will. As far as he is freed by the Spirit of Christ, so far he is free. 
For, 2 Cor. iii. 17, ' where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.' So, 
John viii. 36, Christ says, * If the Son shall make you free, then you shall 
be free indeed.' ' He can do all things,' therefore he is free. But it is in 
Christ ; therefore his freedom is from him. We speak, but it is Christ's 
Spirit that openeth our mouth. We believe, but it is Christ by his Spirit 
that opens our hearts to believe. We are mighty, but it is in God. We 
are able to do gi-eat matters, but it is in Christ that strengtheneth us. We 
are strong, but it is in the Lord ; as it is written, ' Be strong in the Lord, 
and in the power of his might,' Eph. vi. 10. The understanding is ours, 
the affections are ours, the will is ours ; but the sanctifying of all this, and 
the carriage of all these supernaturally above themselves, to do them spiri- 
tually, that is not ours, but it is Christ's. So we see what is ours, and 
what is not ours. We are able to do ; but the strength, and the grace, 
and ability is from Christ. A wind instrument sounds, but the man makes 
it sound by his breath. We are like wind instruments. Indeed, we sound, 
but no further than w^e are blown upon ; and we yield music, but no fur- 
ther than we are touched by the Spirit of God. We are light, but as the 
air is, as it is enlightened by the sun ; and therefore we must understand 
these points, that God may have glory, and that we may know what is ours. 

And then again we see here, Ihat we have in Christ not only a general 
ahility, that ice are able, hut we have the very act itself, the deed itself. 
He strengtheneth us. There is a spiritual life and a spiritual power and 
will, and then the act and deed itself. Now, we have not only from Christ 
the life of grace at the first, and then a spiritual power answerable to that 
again, whereby our powers are renewed, so as we are able to do something 
in our will, but we have the deed itself. The doing is from Christ ; he 
strengtheneth us for the present. Now, you have some that teach loosely 
this point, that we have general universal grace, whereby we are enabled, 
if we will, to believe, and to do this thing, if we will. But I say that is 
not all ; but we have the will and the deed itself from Christ by his Spirit, 
and in every holy action Christ helps us to do these things in very deed. 

First, He moves the soul to the action, and applies the soul to the thing. 
By the Spirit he doth this. For though we have power, we could not 
exercise it but by the Spirit, in this or that particular act. 

Second, Again, he works a prescrvi)ig of the grace in that act. God pre- 
serves his own work against temptation, and against impediments ; for 
there is no act but it is opposed. The devil is in every good work, either 
at the beginning to hinder it, or at the end to defile it, one way or other. 
Now, God preserves his own work by his Spirit, First, He moves us to 
do, and then he preserves us in doing, and arms us against the impedi- 
ments of good works. Then he determines the good work, and limits it, 
how far we shall do well, thus far, and thus far ; the degrees come from 
Christ, For sometimes he doth it by his glorious power, as Paul saith, 
Eph, i. 19. Sometimes we are strengthened to do more, and sometimes 
less, as he will. Not only the act itself, and the application of the soul, 
and the preserving of grace in every act, we sink else, but the degree that 
we do sometimes better, it comes from Christ now strengthening of us 
more, and now less, as he sees good. 

Know, by the way, that he is a voluntary head. Though he be an head 
of influence that flows into every member, yet he is a voluntary head, 
according to his own good pleasure, and the exigents of his members. 


Sometimes wo liavo need of more grace, and then it flows into us from him 
according]5\ Sometimes we have need to know our weakness, and then he 
leaves us to ourselves, that we may know that without him we cannot 
stand ; that we may know the necessity of his guidance to heaven, in the 
sense of our imperfections ; that we might see our weakness and corrup- 
tions, that we had thought we had not had in us : as Moses was tempted 
to murmur, a meek man, Num. xi. 21, seq., and David to cruelty, a mild 
man, 2 Sam. xi. 15, that thought they had not had those corruptions in 
them, God leaves Christians sometimes to themselves, that they may 
know that they are not strong by their own spirit. So the degrees are 
from Christ, sometimes more and sometimes less. Sometimes we are in 
desertion, that we may know the manner of Christ's governing us till we 
come to heaven. 

Use 1. Well, I beseech you, let us know that out of Christ there is no 
grace. A civil man doth nothing in religion well. There cannot be a 
beam without the sun ; there cannot be a river without a spring ; there 
cannot be a good work without the spring of good works, Christ. There- 
fore, we should fetch all" from him, since there is no grace out of him at all. 

Use 2. Again, let us be sure, in all particular actions, to be poor in spirit. 
When we have any temptation to resist, any trouble to bear, or any duty 
to do, let us empty ourselves. No grace is stronger than humility. No 
man is weaker than a proud man. For a proud man rests on nothing, and 
an humble man that empties himself, he stands upon the Eock. We should 
therefore make use of the strength of Christ, that hath not only abundance 
for himself, but an abundance for us, an overflowing for every Christian for 
his good. Let us empty ourselves, as the prophet saith to the widow, 
Bring ' empty vessels' now, and we shall have oil enough, 2 Kings iv. 3. 
There is enough in Christ ; but first we must empty ourselves by humility, 
and then there is fulness in him. ' Of his fulness we receive grace for 
grace,' John i. 16. His fulness is like the fulness of the clouds that is 
ready to drop, and like the fulness of breasts, that are ready to yield what 
they have. He is willing. It is our fault, and baseness, and pride, that 
hinders us. Let us as much as we can empty ourselves of ourselves, and 
stir up the spirit of faith. Go to Christ. So much faith as we carry, so 
much grace we bring from him. If we do but touch him by faith, the issue 
of our corruptions will be dried up in some measure, and we shall have a 
spring of graces in us answerable to the graces in him. Mat. ix. 20. 

I beseech you, therefore, let us labour for these two graces, especially 
since all is out of us in the covenant of grace ; not only salvation is out of 
us, but grace that brings us to heaven is out of us, to empty ourselves in 
humility, and by faith to go to Christ. The one grace makes us go out of 
ourselves, the other carries us to Christ and to the promises of Christ. 
Learn to do this in every action, for we may be foiled in every particular 
action for want of humility and faith. We must not trust to any grace 
or any ability in us, but trust to our spring, go to Christ when we have 
anything to do. 

Quest. What is the reason that Christians fail ? 

Ans. They think, I had grace yesterday, and before, and hereupon they 
go not for supply of new strength to Christ. Ivnow that in every act, in 
every temptation, in every particular suffering, we need a particular new 
strength, and a greater strength than we had before, if the temptation be 
greater, if the work be greater. As it is with a porter, he cannot carry a 
new burden that is heavier than he did before, without a new strength, 


■without more strengtli than he had before, so a Christian cannot bear a 
new affliction without new strength, without more strength. Therefore 
consider what the nature of the business is that we are to do, and the 
strength of the temptation that wc are to encounter with, and answerably 
go to Christ for a measure greater than we had before. He never upbraids 
us nor casts us in the teeth, as James saith, chap. i. 5 (c). There is an 
art, a skill of fetching strength from Christ to do all things, if we would 
learn it. As there is a skill to be a Christian, it is a trade, so there is a 
skill to fetch the strength that he hath from his spring, from Christ. Now, 
that skill in a word is this : 

1. First, To know our own urnit, mid to know the necessity of grace, and 
the excellency of the state of holiness, that of all conditions it is the best, 
and of all conditions a sinful estate is the worst. This will make us go 
out of ourselves to Christ. Well, how shall we fetch strength from Christ 

2. Consider ivhenf ore Christ hath the treasures of all in him, and go to 
him for particular graces we want whatsoever. When we know the excel- 
lenej' and necessity of it before, then make use of -the virtue of his death 
and resurrection. Thus, are we tempted to any sin ? Make use of the 
death of Christ, of his great love in giving himself, and then of the holiness 
of God in giving Christ to die for sin, he hates sin so ; and then, 

3. Consider of the fruit of his death that was to free and deliver us from 
sin. When we think of these things. Did God and Christ so love me? Is 
it the holiness of God, and the holiness of Christ, that God became man to 
die for me, and shall I go and trifle, and be tempted to sin, and offend so 
holy and so gracious a God, that hates sin so infinitely ? 

These be strong reasons fetched from Christ. We have from him both 
the reasons why we should do good and why we should not do evil, and we 
have the strength. There are two things requisite for a man to do a thing 
as a man. The reason why he should do it, and strength to perform it, 
both these are from Christ. 

As from ill we are stopped by the consideration of Christ's death, so 
when we are moved to grace, consider the virtue of Christ's resurrection. 
Why is Christ now in heaven in our nature ? Is it not to fill his church 
with his Spirit ? Why doth he make intercession in heaven ? Is it not 
that we should not be discouraged notwithstanding our daily infirmities ? 
Shall we not make use of it ? He is glorious for us, not lor himself, but 
for his mystical body. As he hath made his natural body glorious, so he 
will make his mystical body glorious by little and little. He being, there- 
fore, in heaven making intercession, go to him in the want of grace. And 
so for infirmities. The Spirit of God raised him at the lowest, and shall 
not the Spirit of God raise me from this and that. Yes, the Spirit of God 
will raise me from the baseness and misery of sin to be better and better. 
The same Spirit will enable me that raised his body. And so fetch virtue 
and strength from Christ, make use of Christ for every turn. Oh that we 
could learn these things ! Then we should be able to go through all con- 
ditions : we should be able to live, able to die. I beseech you, therefore, 
consider what hath been spoken. Let us study Christ every day more and 
more, not for redemption and reconciliation only, though that in the first 
place, but study Christ to be all in all to us, to be our sanctification to fit 
us for ^heaven. Study the promises in Christ, lose no privilege. God 
would not have left them in his word but for our good. Take heed of base 
despair; Oh, I shall never overcome this siu and that. What! shut the 


people out of Canaan ? Base despair lost them earthly Cunaati, Numb, 
xiv. 22, scq. So take heed it shut not you out of heavenly Canaan. I 
shall not be able to get the victory over sin, and I shall not be able to 
suffer. No. Why are the promises ? and why is Christ in heaven ? 
Shall we, by despair and by base infidelity, lose Christ, and the promises, 
and all that is put into our hands, and betray our souls basely to Satan ? 
I beseech you, consider of the necessity of these things. We know not 
what times God maj' call us to ere long. Despair not beforehand. Lot 
fall what will, get into Christ, to be in him in an happy and eternal condi 
tion. We shall have strength from him to carry ourselves in all estates. 
Come what will, he will stand by us ; he will not fail us nor forsake us. 
When did Paul speak these glorious words ? In prison. ' I can do all 
things through Christ,' &c. Did the Spirit of God leave Paul in prison ? 
Was it not better for Paul to have grace than to be freed from the thing ? 
Wicked men may be freed from trouble, only a Christian hath grace to 
carry himself well in trouble. Come what will, if we be in Christ, either we 
shall be freed from troubles, or we shall have grace to bear them. Either 
we shall have that we want, or we shall have contentment without it. Is 
it not better to have grace without the thing ? Is it not better to have a 
glorious Spirit of glory resting on us ? Did not the Spirit of glory rest on 
Paul ? Could not God have freed Paul from prison ? Yes. But where 
had been then the demonstration of a contented spirit, of an heavenly mind ? 
Where had been this example of a Christian bearing the cross comfortably ? 
Paul lost nothing. Here you see how many sLars shine in the night of his 
affliction, what a lustre he had in the dark state of imprisonment. Shall 
we then be afraid of any condition ? No. Get the Spirit of God ; get 
understanding of Christ, and the promises and privileges by him, and then 
let God cast us into what condition he will, we shall be safe and well. 


(a) P. 178. — ' I have learned It is very significant in the original.' The 

original is ^as/xujj/joa/, = I have been fully taught, I have been initiated. The Vul- 
gate is closer than our version, ' institutus sum.' The Bishop of Gloucester (EUicott) 
has an interesting note on this aV. Xsyo/x. of the New Testament in loc. (ver. 12j. 

(b) P. 18-4. — ' Lord, deliver me from my miserable necessities.' The saying is 
that well known one of Augustine, ' A necessitatibus meis libera me Domine.' Cf. 
note a. Vol. IV. p. 304. 

(c) P. 192. — '"He never casts in the teeth," as James saith.' The verb is 
ovsidi'/^o), which the authorised version in Mat. xxvii. 44, renders precisely as Sibbes 
does here. G. 

VOL. V. 





' The Power of Christ's Resurrection ' forms the second of two sermons issued in 
a tiny volume in 1638 (18mo). The former has already appeared. See Vol. II. 
pp, 200-208. The general title-page will be found at page 198 ; the separate one 
is given below.* In footnote at page 198, read Cotes, not Coates. The present 
sermon takes its jilace naturally here along with the others from the Epistle to the 
Colossians. G- 


S E E M N. 






Colo s. 3. 1. 

Preached by that Faithfull and 

Reverend Divine, Richard Sibhes, 

D. D. and sometimes Preacher to 

the Honorable Societie. 

of Grayes-Inne ; 

And Master of Katherine Hall in 


E p H E s. 2. 4, 5, 6. 
Accordirig as he hath chosen us in him, . 
before the foundation of the world, 
that wee should be holy, Sfc. 


If ye he risen ivith Christ, seek those thinr/s which are above, where Christ 
sitteth at the right hand of God. — Col. III. 1. 

This verse hath dependence on the second chapter, and the twelfth and 
thirteenth verses of that chapter, where the apostle tells the Colossians that 
' they were risen with Christ from the dead by faith, and quickened by his 
Spirit ;' and thereupon follows this inference : ' If therefore ye be risen with 
Christ,' shew it by seeking after those things which are in heaven, and are 

The apostle hath much ado to root out those dangerous conceits, which 
false teachers had settled in the hearts of the Colossians, touching some 
legal ceremonies, as ' touch not, taste not, handle not.' These dead things 
he tells them have no more use now ; and therefore, * if you be risen with 
Christ, seek those things that are above.' These ceremonies were indeed 
appointed by God at the first, but now they are ended and brought to their 
grave ; and therefore no more to be revived, because they were not only 
dead, but deadly. Nan solum vwrtum sed mortifera. 

Now the apostle finding their hearts tainted with this false doctrine, 
having first sought to purge it out of their hearts, he then begins to season 
them with heavenly doctrine ; and he begins with general instructions, and 
so proceeds to particular callings, as of husbands and wives, and children 
and servants. Now because the well managing of the particular duties of 
these particular callings depends on a good general ; therefore he begins 
first to season their hearts with grace, knowing that it is so much the easier 
to be good in their particular callings, when they are first good in their 
general. But if not good in general, then never good in the particular. If 
a good man, then a good husband, a good father, a good master, fit for any 
good service ; but if not a good man, then good for nothing. So a woman, 
if a good woman, then a good wife, or good in any calling. So for children 
and servants, if good in the general, then good in every particular. 

These words contain a ground, and an inference upon the ground : ' If 
you be risen with Christ.' There is the ground. ' Then seek the things that 
are above.' There is the inference. From the ground observe two things : 
first, that Christ is risen himself; secondly, that we shall rise. 

Doct. 1. For iYie first, It is an article of our faith ;* and the Holy Ghost 
* In margin here, Fiducia Christiana. — G. 



hath taken a great deal of pains to prove it. It is the confidence of 
Christians.* It is the main freehold that we have, for we hold all by the 
resm-rection of Christ. Therefore we had sixteen apparitions of Clu'ist to 
make it firm and evident. It was impossible that he should be held of the 
bonds of death, Acts ii. 24. Impossible, first, as he was invested with 
these three ofiices, a king, a priest, and a prophet. Impossible, first, as he 
was a king ; for how then could he have triumphed over his enemies ? 
Secondly, impossible as he was a priest; for if he had not risen, how could 
he have made daily intercession for his people ? Thirdly, impossible as he 
was a prophet ; for else how could he have instructed his people '? 
r- Use. Now as Christ rose the third day — manifesting thereby that he was 
dead — to his greater glory, so is it with his members. Never nearer help 
than when they are at the worst. Then that it may appear to be God's 
work, he will raise them apparently, f that he may be glorified. So like- 
wise when we are in any distress in the world, void of the help of man, 
then comes God in and raiseth us up, whether in our credit, estate, &c., 
as he will do our bodies at the last day. Let us therefore have patience 
for a while. 

Doct. 2. Secondly, As Christ is risen, so shall we rise. He is the meri- 
torious cause of our resurrection, he hath deserved that we should rise ; he 
IS the worker of it. By that same power whereby he rose again, by the 
same will he raise us up at the last day. He is every way the cause ; 
and which is something more, we are risen with him. He was a public 
person. Upon the cross he stood in the place of all the world, and all their 
sins committed, or foreseen to be committed, lay upon him. ' He bare the 
iniquity of us all,' Isa. liii. 6 ; and then he freed himself, and so us, by his 
resurrection. First, freeing himself of his suretyship ; and we are freed in 
him ; and he rising, we also rise with him. This resurrection is twofold, 
spiritual and corporal : spiritual, when we take Hfe from Christ ; and being 
quickened by him, then we begin to rise with him when we believe that 
Christ is dead for our sins. Christ is then crucified to thee, when thou 
beginnest to believe in him. 

Use 1. And every true Christian may draw from hence water of life to 
comfort him in all distresses ; for Christ hath conquered all our spiritual 
enemies ; and his resurrection is an evidence of his conquest. For if he 
had not conquered he could not have risen ; and therefore when he rose 
again he bade his disciples not to fear, Mat. xxviii. 10. Fear not death, 
for I have overcome death ; and witnessed the same by my resurrection. 
Fear not sin, for I have satisfied for it. Fear not the devil : I by my resur- 
rection have bruised his head ; nor the world, for I have overcome it. 
He hath trode upon the necks of all our spiritual enemies, and conquered 
them all. Fear not, for if once you be risen with Christ, you are begotten 
to a hvely hope. Where spiritual resurrection is, there is hope of life, as 
the apostle doth soundly reason, 1 Peter i. 3. A ground of precious com- 
fort to every true Christian. 

Use 2. Now in that we are raised by the same power to a spiritual life, 
whereby Christ rose from the grave, it teacheth us how to conceive of the 
u-ork of the new birth, of the image of God, of the new creature. The work 
of ^ grace in a Christian is not a slight work, a word and away, as many 
think; but it is a powerful work, as appears in that there are more hin- 
drances to keep a man dead in sin from rising out of it, than there was to 

* In margin here, Tertullian, de resurrect., cap. i, — G. 
t That is, 'openly,' ' visibly.' — G. 


keep Christ from rising out of the grave. Yet in his resurrection did the 
power of God mightily appear, as Eph. i. 19, 20. As Christ was killed 
and had a stone rolled on his tomb, so he that is dead in sin hath the stone 
of custom rolled upon him, which is as great a work of God's power to 
remove as it was to raise Christ. Wherefore let those that find a change 
in their hearts break forth into hearty thanksgiving unto God for his in- 
estimable favour, especially for this powerful work, more powerful than the 
making of the whole world, because there are many oppositions. 

Use 3. Consider this aright, partly for thanksijiving, if you have been 
wrought upon, and partly /or prayer if you are not, seeking unto God in the 
use of the means, who only is able to work this change in you. 

To cut ofi' many things, we shall now speak of the inference : ' If you 
be risen,' and risen ' with Christ' by his power, 'then seek those things 
which are above.' The reason depends thus. They that are risen have a 
new life, for every resurrection notes a new Hfe; if spiritual, then a spiritual 
life ; if bodily, then a glorious life, Rom. vi. 5, seq. Life is suitable to our 
resurrection. You are risen with Christ from the death of sin. Therefore 
manifest your resurrection by actions proportionable and suitable to your 
estate. From hence we note this doctrine, 

Doct. 3. That every life and state reqidretk ansiverahle actions. ' If you 
be risen with Christ,' and so have a spiritual life as you profess yourselves, 
then carry yourselves answerably, and ' seek those things that are above,' 
that may maintain that life of yours. This is the apostle's reasoning in 
this place. This is so in nature. It is so in corrupt nature. It is so in 
grace, and shall be so in glory. 

For the frst, Those creatures that are in the water, they delight in it, 
because it is their proper element, and they cannot live out of it ; secondly, 
it is so in corrupt nature. He that is covetous, the very conceit that he 
hath of his riches doth as it were feed him ; and he cannot live without 
them. For he that lives a carnal, brutish Hfe, he dieth if he be taken from 
it. He is like a fish upon dry ground. Tanquani 2)iscis in arido. Take 
him out of his element and he cannot live. It is so in grace, and shall be 
BO in glory. When the body is risen unto glory, there is a forsaking of 
all communion with sinful men here, and we have communion with God 
and Christ. Christ shall be all in all unto us. Col. iii. 11. Then that 
which all creatures supply to us here, Christ supplieth to us there. Then 
our songs are holy and our actions holy, fitting such a glorious estate. 
Now heaven is begun here, or else never iDegun. Grace is therefore called 
heaven, because heaven is begun here. Glory must begin in grace. 

Use 1. So then a Christian that is risen with Christ, must have nothing 
to do with carnal men, no further than he is thrust u'pon them, or that he may 
convert them. They must not accompany with men of a contrary spirit ; 
seeking by all means to express the love of piety. Thus should the life of 
a Christian be suitable to his state that he is in and called unto. 

Use 2. If we should try all by this rule, how few then would he found to 
he risen with Christ. How few delight in heavenly company, in heavenly 
actions ! as to praise God, or to commune or partake with God in prayer. 
This is a death to most men to have such company, or to exercise them- 
selves in such actions. 

Explan. 1. The apostle saith here, 'we must seek those things which 
are above with Christ.' Seeking implieth, first, ivant ; for a man will never 
seek for that which he hath ; secondly, it implieth a valuation and esteem 
of the excellency of the thing that is sought for ; thirdly, it implieth hope to 



get it, else none would seek it, but leave it as a thing desperate ; fourthly, 
it doth imply means and me of means to attain to that we want, esteem of, 
and hope to attain ; lastly, he that wants a thing which he doth highly 
esteem and hopes to attain in the use of the means, will by all means avoid 
all contraries that may hinder him from, attaining thereunto. 

2. Now consider what this thing is that we must seek for. Briefly this 
is here meant, viz., Christ Jesus the joy of our hearts, in whom are hid all 
the treasures of knowledge and wisdom. Col. ii. 3, together with all those 
things which are above, or whatsoever tends thereunto. And indeed all 
the excellency which we have or can hope for, is from above. Our full 
happiness and glorious inheritance is kept for us in the heavens. All our 
privileges are from above. Our kingdom is in heaven ; qualification for 
this happy estate is from above. Our holiness and heavenly-mindedness 
is from above, fulness of grace is from above, and all graces to lead us to 
that perfection are from above. Power to enable us to any holy duty is 
from above ; yea, the means, as the ordinances, the word and the sacra- 
ments, are from above. Here then is the sense of the words, seek for a 
nearer communion with Christ, for a further assurance of heaven, for a 
further qualification for heaven, that you may be more and more in heaven 
while you are here, by enjoying through faith your heavenly privileges, 
prerogatives, and excellencies. Seek for further actions of holiness ; for 
fulness of grace ; for grace to bring you to the fruition of all from above. 
Therefore attend upon the word of God, upon the sacraments, upon holy 
conference, where Christ will be present in a special manner ; and by holy 
actions seek for glory in the use of the means. Eeach not for things above 
your reach. That is arrogaucy. But seek for heavenly things, such as 
before named. 

We see from hence this further to be observed : 

Doct, 4. That heavenly duties have their spring from the articles and grounds 
of religion. ' Seek those things which are above.' Why? Because you 
are risen with Christ. 

The ground of our faith is the cause of holy duties. Whosoever is cor- 
rupt in faith, is corrupt in obedience in that degree. Evil opinions breed 
an evil life, and a sound understanding breeds an holy life. 

Use. Understand therefore the main grounds of religion ; and labour to 
digest them, to see the truth of them ; and labour with God by prayer that 
he would write them in your hearts by his Holy Spirit. 

Again, in that the apostle willeth them to seek heavenly graces : and 
that because they are risen with Christ, note further this inference. 

Doct. 5. That as a Christian ought to he heavenly-minded, to seek heavenly 
graces, so he must do it for this reason, viz., because he is in an estate fitting 
for it. 

Use. Therefore let none say, he cannot for outivard tronhles or business, 
unless thou wilt deny thyself to be a Christian at the same time. He that 
will be a Christian must pretend no impossibilities herein. Ai-t thou risen 
with Christ ? Then thou hast power to seek those things that are above, 
to be heavenly minded. A Christian or no Christian ! God doth not as 
Pharaoh, bid us do our work, and we must gather straw ourselves ; but he 
bids us do, and quickens us by his Spirit, and enables us to do. He fits 
us for such actions ; he gives us power to do them. 

Doct. 6. Again, So far as a Christian is raised by Christ, so far he cannot 
but seek those things that are above. We need not teach a bird to fly, for it 
will learn it of itself; it is natural to her. So a Christian cannot but do 


the things answerable to his nature. He is of a new nature, and therefore 
cannot but be Ijeavenly minded. He cannot profane the Lord's day ; he 
cannot swear ; he cannot lie ; he cannot blaspheme ; he cannot delight in 
carnal courses. He cannot do these things, so far as he is a Christian. In 
the hour of temptation he is not himself. It is in this sense that the apostle 
saith, * He that is born of God sinneth not,' 1 John iii. 9. So far as he is 
born again he cannot sin ; he can do no evil. 

Again, as a Christian may do it, and ovight to do it, and cannot but 
do it ; — 

Doct. 7. So I add further, he glories in it. To be heavenly-minded, and 
exercised in spiritual duties, is his happiness and his joy. He is never so 
well, never so much himself, as when he is most possessed with heavenly- 
mindedness, and most frequent or exercised in spiritual duties. So far 
forth as he is a Christian, and enlarged with the Spirit of Christ, so far 
forth he glories in holy actions, in heavenly-mindedness. 

Use. Is this in all true Chi'istians ? What then mmj ire think of the most 
part in the world, that profess religion but from the teeth oxitimrd? They are 
not risen with Christ, as the ambitious man, the covetous man, the volup- 
tuous man. They savour not the things that are above. They have no new 
nature ; for if they had, it would lead them higher than these things. Those 
that live in defilements of the flesh, shew that they have no new natures ; 
for if they had, they should get strength against them, at least they would 
have a continual conflict and wrestling in themselves to overcome them. 

For trial of thy estate, see what power is there of the Spirit of God in 
thee to make thee heavenly- minded : to joy in things that are above, more 
than in all the world besides. If thou find this power in thee, then thou 
art a Christian indeed. Thou canst then speak by experience what is the 
work of the Spirit ; and thou knowest well what is the virtue of the resur- 
rection of Christ. Then thou canst say with St Paul that thou art still 
striving to find the virtue of Christ more and more in thee, to make thee 
more fully assured of thy part in Christ, and to find the power of his Spirit 
subduing corruption in thee more and more, Phil. iii. 9 and 10. Let us 
therefore labom- for this power. This is to ' seek the things that are above.' 
Labour to find a want of them, that we have not so much of them as we 
have need of. Labour then to know the excellency of them : esteeming 
of them to be more excellent than all other things. When all other things 
leave us, then they will comfort us. Labour also to see an hope to grow 
in them. Thou hast hope to attain unto them, because the same Spirit is 
promised thee that raised up Christ from the dead. Use then all sanctified 
means for the attaining of these spiritual good things. Use heavenly means 
for heavenly things. Attend upon the ordinances of God, labour with him 
in prayer, that he would make us such as he may delight in, fit us for that 
estate that he hath provided for us. Labour to increase in all holy actions ; 
take heed of all contrary courses, of worldly- mindedness, of the pleasures 
of the world, that they draw not away thy heart from an earnest seeking of 
heavenly things as we should be. We are all seekers. We are a genera- 
tion of seekers. As the psalmist saith, we are seeking while we are here ; 
our possessing is hereafter, Ps. xxiv. 6. 

Labour, therefore, to see the want of heavenly graces, and to esteem of 
them aright ; and to see hope to attain them, and hope to increase them ; 
and use the means, and avoid all contrary courses. So shall you find the 
virtue of Christ's resurrection raising you up more and more to seek after 
heaven and heavenly things, ' those things that are above.' 




' The Hidden Life' is another selection of Two Sermons from ' Evangelical Sacri- 
fices' (4to, 1640). Its separate title-page is given below.* — G. 

* T HE 


In two Funerall Sermons upon 
Col. 3. 3, 4. 


The late Learned and Reverend Divine, 
Rich. Sibbs: 

Doctor in Divinity, M'- of Katherine Hall 

in Camhridge, and sometimes Preacher 

to the Honourable Society of 

g k a y e s-i n n e. 

1 John 3. 2, 
Beloved, now yee are the Sonnes of God, and it doth not 
appeare what wee shall he. 

Printed by E. Purslow, for N. Bourne, at the Roy- 
all Exchange, and R. Harford at tlie gilt 
Bible in Queenes head Alloy, in Pater- 
Noster-Row. 16 3 9. 


For ye are dead, your life is hid ivith Chiist in God. When Christ, who is 
our life, shall ajypear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. — Col. 
III. 3, 4. 

The dependence of these words, in a word, is this. The apostle, after he 
had laid the grounds of some doctrines, he doth frame the building of a 
holy life and conversation. It is in vain to believe well unless a man work 
accordingly. He that lives against his faith shall be damned, as he that 
believes against it. Thereupon in this chapter he comes to raise their 
affections to be heavenly-minded, and stirs them up to subdue whatsoever 
is contrary to heavenly-mindeduess. And because it is a duty of great 
moment to be heavenly-minded, and to subdue base affections, he inserts 
weighty reasons between. ' If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things 
that are above.' And among other reasons there is this, ' Ye are dead, 
and your life is hid with Christ in God.' And thereupon he forceth seek- 
ing of the things that are above, and the mortifying of earthly members. 
For the duties of Christianity are to be applied two ways ; to be heavenly 
affected, and to subdue that which is contrary ; to be heavenly-minded, 
and to mortif}'' our earthly members. Now how shall we do both ? ' For 
ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God,' &c. 

You see the fii'st proposition, 'Ye are dead.' With whom ? 'With 
Christ, in God.' 

A Christian is dead many ways. He is dead to the laiv, to the moral law. 
He looks not to have comfort and salvation by it, by the law ; he is dead 
to the law, and so flies to Christ. 

A Christian is dead also to the ceremonial law. Now, in the glorious 
lustre of the gospel, what have we to do with those poor elements that 
were for children ? A ceremonious disposition is opposite to the glory and 
lustre of the gospel, as the apostle speaks in the former chapter. 

He is dead likewise to sin. Having communion with Christ, when he 
died for sin, he is dead to sin. He that hath communion in the death of 
Christ, hath the same affection to sin that Christ had. Christ hated it 
infinitely when he suffered for it ; so every Christian thinks that Christ 
died for my sins, and by union with Christ he hath the same affection to 
it, he is ' dead' to it. 

And because this is but an inchoation and beginning, a Christian is not 
perfectly dead to sin. He stands in need of afflictions, and in regai'd of 


afflictions he is dead. They must help the work of mortification. And 
because no atiiiction can sufficiently work mortification but death itself, 
which is the accomplishment of mortification, we are dead in respect of 
death itself, which is the accomplishment of all. Though we live here for 
a time, we are dead in regard of the sentence that is passed on us, as we 
say a man is dead when the sentence is passed on him. In that respect 
we are dead men, for our life is but a dead life. Besides the sentence that 
is passed upon us, death seizeth upon us in the time of our life, in sick- 
nesses, &c. And so they prepare us to death. Thus, and many other 
ways, we are dead. 

The second proposition is, ' Our life is hid with Christ in God.' 
We are dead, and yet we have a life. A Christian is a strange person. 
He is both dead and alive, he is miserable and glorious. He consists of 
contraries. He is dead in regard of corruption and miseries, and such like, 
but he is alive in regard of his better part, and he grows two ways at once. 
It is a strange thing that a Christian doth. He grows downwards and 
upwards at the same time ; for as he dies in sin and misery, and natural 
death approaching, so he lives the life of grace, and grows more and more 
till he end in glory. 

This life is said to be a hidden life, ' It is hid with Christ in God.' 
The life of a Christian, which is his glorious spiritual life, it is hid. 
Among other respects, 

1. It is hid to the world, to icorldhj men, because a Christian is an 
unknown man to them. Because they know not the Father that begets, 
therefore they know not them that are begotten, as St John saith, 1 John 
iii. 1. They know not the advancement of a Christian : he is raised into a 
higher rank than they. Therefore, as a beast knows not the things of a 
man, no more doth a carnal man, in any excellency, know the things of 
the Spirit, ' for they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. ii. 14. Therefore it 
is a hidden life in the eyes of the world. A worldly man sees not this life 
in regard of the excellency. He passeth scorns and contempts of it, of 
folly and the like. A Christian, in respect of his happy life, is a stranger 
here, and therefore he is willing to pass through the world, and to be used 
as a stranger. 

2. It is a hidden life likewise ofttimes, not only to worldlings, but in 
regard of the children of God themselves ; because hy reason of some infir- 
mities that are in the best of God's children, they are apt to judge amiss, 
harshly and rashly one of another. Likewise by reason of those calamities 
that are common to all men alike. They are afflicted as others, and have 
sicknesses, and are contemned more than others ; and by reason of this 
the childi'en of God often censure those that have the beginnings of spiritual 
life in them. It is hid from them. 

It is hid likewise from themselves, for often God's children know not 
themselves, in temptation, in their nonage, in the beginning of their con- 
version, in the time of desertion, and spiritual slumber and sleep, grace 
seems to be dead in them, and then they know not that they have this 
spiritual life. Especially if this desertion be joined with outward abase- 
ment, they call their estate into question, as in Ps. Ixxiii. 2, se(]., and in 
divers places of Scripture. God's children ofttimes, by reason of their 
inquisition and search, they raise clouds, whereby they conceal from their 
own eyes their own life. Partly through distemper of body, and partly by 
distemper of spirit, there are clouds raised between them and their hap- 
piness, that they cannot see their spiritual Ufe. 


But especially it is hid in regard of cvmmon infirmities, wanting gifts that 
others have, that have not a dram of grace sometimes, that live to please 
men, and look altogether to the outside. They do that many times to 
please men hctter than a Christian. 

Soiiietijiicn God himself hides himself out of wisdom and mercy to us, when 
he sees that wo carry not ourselves so reverently as we should. And this 
reason may be sullicient of God's dispensation. God will have it so, partly 
for the further hardening of wicked persons, and for trial. For if all were 
laid open in this excellent estate of a Christian, who should try their 
patience ? "Who would not be a Christian for the comfort, and for the 
sense and feeling ? Oh, but this is not so. A Christian hath a life, but 
it is a hidden life. Therefore God will try whether men will live by ftxith 
or sense, whether they will have their ways now or no, or whether they 
will depend upon that glorious life that God will reveal in time to come, 
and to exercise and strengthen faith. God will have it so that this life 
shall be now hid, that we may live by the promises, though we have no 
feeling at all ; that we may persuade ourselves in the greatest desertions 
and extremities, yet I have a hidden life in Christ. Though I have little 
influence and manifestation of it in me, yet I have a glorious life in my head ; 
and I live now by faith till I come to live by sight. This is one reason. 

We should not therefore take ofience. We must not judge of Christians 
by outward show and appearance, as Christ saith, ' We should not judge 
of ourselves by outward appearance,' John vii. 24, nor of the church. The 
whore of Babylon hath more painting and setting out, in all glorious shows 
— it being an outside religion — than the true spouse of Christ, whose glory 
and beaut}' is within. Doth it follow therefore that she is the true church '? 
Oh no ; for the beauty of the wife of Chi-ist it is a hidden beauty, ' She 
is glorious within,' Ps. xlv. 13. A stranger doth not meddle with the joy 
of the church. Christians have a name indeed, and ' a stone that none 
know but them that have it,' Rev. ii. 17. It is ' hidden manna.' We 
must not judge of the church, or of Christians, by outward appearance ; we 
shall be deceived in that. Our life is hid with Christ, the spring of all 
spiritual life. The life of a Christian is a secret life. It is a peculiar 
life. It is a safe life. It is secret because it is hid. As I said, God's 
children are secret ones. They are not known to the world, nor to them- 
selves ofttimes. 

But ordinarily faith in them breaks through the cloud, and unmasks God 
himself; and sees God's fatherl}' face, though he hide himself. They 
have a promise to lay hold upon ; and they acknowledge him to be their 
Father, and wrestle with him. It is a secret life, but it is not so secret, 
but that faith sees into it. It pierceth the veil and sees a glorious life 
there. Faith will see God's glorious countenance. Faith makes it a 
glorious life though it be secret. Therefore let us not judge ourselves nor 
others by appearance. 

And it is also a sure life. ' It is hid with Christ in God.' Mark on what 
gi'ounds it is sure. 

First, it is hid in heaven. No encmj' can come there. The devil comes 
not there since he fii'st lost it and was cast out. It is safe in regard of the 
place. It is hid in heaven. 

And it is safe, because it is hid in Christ, who purchased it with his 
blood ; who hath trampled upon all opposite powers, over death, and hell 
itself. It is hid in heaven and in^ him who hath overcome all opposite 
power. Therefore it is a safe life. 


And it is hid with Christ in God. Christ is in the bosom of God, 
Christ mediator. * It is hid with Christ in God.' He is the storehouse 
of this hfe. It is hid with him. If any can rob God, then they may 
rob our hfe from us ; for it is hid with Christ in God. It is a sure hfe 

Obj. Oh, but we may lose it, though it be sure in respect of God. 

Ans. Nay, saith St Peter, ' We are begotten again to an inheritance, 
immortal, and reserved for us in heaven, and we are kept by the power of 
God to salvation,' 1 Peter i. 4. It is kept for us, and we are kept to it. God 
hath prepared it for us, and prepared us for it. So it is a most sure life, espe- 
cially because Christ lives for ever, with whom it is. ' It is hid with Christ 
in God.' 

It is likewise a peculiar life ; only to God's people. For they only have 
union and communion with Christ ; and therefore he saith here, ' yom' life 
is hid with Christ in God.' 

It is likewise a glorious life ; for it is hid with Christ, who is the glory 
of God ; and he saith in the next verse, ' When Christ, who is our life, shall 
appear, we shall appear with him in glory.' It is a glorious life. But of 
that I shall speak in the next verse. 

We sec then that our life is hid in Christ ; and what kind of life this is. 

It is a secret, sure, peculiar, glorious hfe. Alas ! we are ready to judge 
of ourselves by the present, and not to think it a glorious life. But he 
saith, it is hidden for us. ' Light is sown for the righteous,' Ps. xcvii. 11. 
It doth not appear for the present. A garden hath seeds sown and herbs, 
but in the winter there is no difference between it and a common field ; but 
when the sun shines and appears, then the herbs appear in their lustre. 
So it is with a Christian. There is light and immortality and happiness 
sown for him. When Christ, the ' Sun of righteousness' shall appear, ' then 
we shall appear with him in glory,' 1 John iii. 2. 

As we may say of all things below, they have a hidden life : the plants 
and the flowers in the winter, they live by the root ; and when the sun 
appears, then they also appear with the sun in glory. So it is with the 
righteous : they have a hidden life. It is hid now in the root, in their 
head, in this life. When Christ the Sun of righteousness shall appear ; 
when the spring comes ; when the resurrection comes : then we shall ap- 
pear with him in glory. And so I come to speak of that verse. 

' When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye appear also 
with him in glory.' 

Our life is now hid. Our happiness is veiled over. There are many 
things between us and our hfe. But shall it always be so ? Oh no ! 
' When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we shall appear also with him 
in glory.' He meets with a secret objection. The parts here to be stood 
on are these. 

1. First, Christ he is our life. He shall appear in glory as our hfe. 
This is taken for granted, it is a supposed truth, ' when Christ, who is 
our life, shall ajjpear.' It is taken for granted that he shall appear in 

2. The next thing is, that ive shall aiq^ear likewise ivith Christ. Christ 
shall appear, and we. 

3. And then the consequence : how these depend upon one another. 
Because Christ appears in glory, therefore we, ' when Christ, who is our 
life, shall appear.' 

"The apostle cannot mention Christ, without an addition of comfort ; and 


the Christian soul loves Christ. It sees such matter of comfort, and such 
righteousness in him, that it cannot think of Christ without a comfortable 
addition of Lord, Saviour, life, hope, glory, &c. Christ carries with him 
all comforts. He is food, the bread of hfe, the water of life, all that is 
good to the soul. Therefore the apostle gives this sweet addition ' Christ 
our life.' 

How is Christ our life? 

He is every way the cause of the life of grace and of glorj'. And not 
only so, the cause, but the root and spring in whom it is. We have it 
from Christ and in Christ. We have it in Christ as a root, and from Christ 
as a working cause, and by Christ as a mediator. For Christ procured life 
at God's hands, by his sacrifice and death. We have it in Christ as a head, 
from him as a cause, together with both the other persons ; and through 
him as mediator, who by his death made way to life, appeasing the wrath 
of God. So we are reconciled and pardoned by the death of Christ. 

Christ is not only our life so, but as the matter of our life that we feed 
on. When he hath wrought spiritual life in us, then the soul lives by faith 
in Christ still, and feeds upon him. He is our life because we feed on him. 
For as food nourisheth the body, so the soul, being every day set on by 
fi-esh temptations, and afflictions, and troubles, and fresh discomforts, the 
soul of necessity is forced to look to Christ every day ; and to feed upon 
Christ ; to feed upon his blood afresh, which runs continually. For he is 
a mediator for ever ; and he is in heaven to make good that he hath done 
by his death ; and we look upon him every day and feed on him ; and so 
he maintains the life he hath begun. Christ is our life thus. 

More particularly — for memory's sake — -Christ, when by faith we have 
union with him once — as we can have no communion without union with 
him — when we are one with him once by faith, we have life from Christ, 
the life of reconciliation in Imc, opposite to our death in law and in sentence. 
For by nature we are all dead and damned as soon as we are born, for our 
own sins and the sins of our first parents. We are dead in sentence. Now 
by Christ there is a reversion* of this sentence. Christ by his obedience and 
sufiering hath satisfied his Father. So by our union with Christ we are 
alive in sentence. We are absolved in God's court of justice ; for he will 
not punish sin twice. 

And then after the life of justification, being justified by faith, we have 
the life of sanctification and holiness. For God out of his love, when he 
hath pardoned our sin, he gives his Spirit as the best fruit of his love ; and 
we having our consciences absolved and acquitted by the Spirit of God, 
through the obedience of Christ, we love God. God so loveth us when he 
is appeased by Christ, that the bar being taken away, our sins being par- 
doned, and the sluice of mercy open, there is way made for another life, the 
life of sanctification by the Spirit. Upon pardon of our sins he gives the 
Spirit ; and we feeling that love, have love wrought in us to him again, and 
that love stirs up every Christian to obedience. 

In the next place, After he hath acquitted us by his all-sufficient satisfac- 
tion, being God and man, and hath given us his Spirit, there is another 
life, the life of comfort, which is the life of our life, in peace of conscience 
and joij unspeakable and glorious. This life issues from the former. For 
when we find our conscience appeased, that God saith to om- souls he is 
' their salvation,' Ps. xxxv. 3, and find a newness wrought in our nature by the 
Spii-it of God, and some strength to obey him, then we begin to have a sweet 
* That is, 'reversal.' — G. 

VOL. V. 


peace, as the children of God find in themselves, and joy unspeakable and 

This is the life of this life. Having union with Christ and his righteous- 
ness and Spirit, wo have this peace, which is the way to glory and the 
beginning of it. For besides that Christ is our life in glory afterwards, 
in this life he is our hfe. Answerable to our servile fear, as we are dead in 
law, we have a hfe in justification. As we are dead in nature, so we have 
a life in sanctification. We are dead in despair, and run into terrors of 
conscience ; so we have a life in joy and peace. 

But all those in this life ax'e imperfect, because there is only an union 
of grace here, till we come to the union of glory in heaven ; and then at the 
day of judgment there will be a perfect justift/uiff of us. We shall not only 
be acquitted in our conscience, as w-e are now, but we shall be acquitted 
before angels and devils and men, and Christ will acknowledge us. These 
are they for whom I died. These are they for whom I made intercession 
in heaven. We shall be acquitted there, and there we shall be acknow- 

And then the life of sanctification, that is now in part, shall then be 
perfect, and likewise the peace that now ' passeth understanding ' shall 
then be full ; and our joy shall be full by Christ who is our life. 

So then we see we have in Christ, ' the second Adam,' whatsoever we 
lost in the first root. Whence did we draw sin and misery ? By union 
with the first Adam we have damnation, we have the wrath of God, we have 
corruption opposite to sanctification, we have terrors and hori'or of conscience. 
By the second Adam, and union with him, we have a spring of life and 
peuce, and all that we lost in Adam ; and more than all we lost, he being 
God-man. The sin of the first Adam was the sin of a man ; the obedience 
of the second Adam was the obedience of God-man, which raiseth us to 
life everlasting, Rom. v. 16, seq. So that there is more comfort in the 
life we have by Christ than there is discomfort in our death by Adam. 

We see then hence that in all our deadness and dulness and want of 
grace, there is a spring in our nature. God hath given Christ, God-man, 
that there should be a treasure in him for all the church, that we may 
fetch supply out of our nature. He is fit to be our life, for our nature in 
him is united to the Godhead ; therefore Christ is a fit fountain to derive * 
grace to believers, because man's nature in him is advanced ; by being 
united to the second person he is God-man, able to derive all grace and 
comfort and righteousness whatsoever. Shall the first Adam derive unrighte- 
ousness, discomfort, and misery, that was a man ? and shall not Clirist, 
■ God-man, derive righteousness and comfort and joy and peace, and what- 
soever is good ? Undoubtedly he shall. Therefore in all want of grace, 
in all temptations and assaults, let us go to the fountain, to the fulness of 
grace, to the fulness of God's love in Christ. Christ, God-man, is our life. 
As when we are cold we come to the fire, so when we are dull-hearted let 
us come to this quickening Spirit. 

And to this end let us be stirred up to use those means wherein Christ 
will be effectual, whereby, as by veins, the blood of this spiritual life is con- 
veyed, as the word and sacraments, the communion of saints and all 
sanctified means, whereby the life of grace and comfort may be conveyed 
to us. Let us never be out of such ways and courses as whereby Christ 
derives this life of grace ; and let us take heed of those that are contrary. 
Q7xcst. But how shall I know, saith a weak soul, — that finds Httle comfort 
* That is, 'communicate.' — G. 



and peace, and little sanctification ; and is besieged with troubles and is 
doubtful, and knows not wlicther his sins be forgiven or no, how shall I 
know, — whether Christ be my life or no ? 

Aii.'i. I answer that the life of Christ is but now her/un in us, and it is 
very little at the first. There is nothing less than grace at the beginning. 
The life of Christ is conveyed to us from Christ voluntarily, not by necessity. 
' He gives the will and the deed according to his pleasure,' Philip, ii. 13. 
Therefore we must know that we have more or less comfort, and more or 
less grace as he pleaseth. He brings all to heaven in all ages that have 
the true life of grace, though he make a difterence, and give to some 
more and to some less ; because ho is a head that flows into his members, 
not out of nature, but out of his own pleasure. 

2. And a Christian soul that hath union with Christ, that hath a being 
and station in him, inaj/ know it. There are always some pulses from this 
heart. As we know there is some life by the beating of the pulses, so 
Christ's dwelling in the heart is known by these pulses. There will be 
striving against corruption, and complaining of it. Nature and corruption 
will not complain against corruption ; corruption will not strive against 
corruption. There will be sighing and groaning, which is seconded with 
a constant endeavour to grow better. It is not a flash. These pulses 
beating in the soul of a true Christian shew that there is the life of grace 
in him, that Christ dwells in his heart. And this ofttimes doth more 
appear in the greatest temptations. Take a Christian at the worst, his heart 
sighs to God to recover him ; he is sick, and yet he hopes in Christ. Christ 
in the greatest desertion is his life, who was also our pattern when he was 
at the lowest : ' My God, my God.' So a Christian at the lowest, he hath 
a spirit of prayer. Though it may be he cannot pray distinctly, yet he can 
sigh and groan ; and God hears the sighs of his own Spirit always. There- 
fore when these pulses beat in him, in the greatest temptations he may 
know that Christ lives in him. 

Sometimes Christ, in respect of this life, in this world reserves himself 
to the chief occasion, as some great affliction of the outward man. In 
2 Cor. iv. 10, we see there when the body of Saint Paul was afiiicted, when 
it was abased by many afflictions, ' the hfe of Christ was most manifest in 
him.' God reserves to poor Chi-istians, that now live in peace and quiet, 
the greatest feelings and manifestations of Christ's living in them, till some 
great cross, till the hour of death, till a time of need. The life of Christ 
is most manifest in the time of abasement. 

By the way, therefore, let us not avoid crosses for Christ's sake. Avoid 
not any abasement, though it be imprisonment or death. The more our 
outward man is abased, if it be for Christ's sake, the more this life of 
Christ, this blessed life, this peace that ' passeth understanding,' and this 
' joy in the Holy Ghost ' is increased. We shall feel our absolution and 
justification the more. This life of Christ is most manifested when we honour 
him most by sufi'ering for him. Therefore let us avoid no cross for him. 

' Christ, who is our Hfe, shall appear.'' There are two appearings, we 
know, of Christ ; his first appearing and his second appearing. His first 
appearing was to work our salvation ; his second shall be to accomplish and 
fiiiish what he hath begun to work. His first appearing was to redeem our 
souls from death, and his second shall redeem our bodies from the coiTup- 
tion of the grave. So his second appearing shall be to accomplish all the 
good that he came to do and to work by his fu'st. As verily, therefore, as 
Christ is come in his first appearing, so verily and certainly he shall appear 


the second time. And as it was the description of holy men before his first 
coming to wait for him, ' to wait for the consolation of Israel,' Luke ii. 25, 
so Christians now. Those blessed souls that have the report of this, they 
wait for the coming of Christ. 

There were all kind of witnesses then of his first coming : angels, men, 
women, shepherds, the devils themselves. The Trinity from heaven wit- 
nessed of him. So for his second coming there are witnesses. Christ 
himself saith he will come. The angels say, ' This Jesus that ye see go 
up shall come again,' Acts i. 11. It is an article of our faith that he shall 
come. The Spirit of God in every Christian saith ' Come,' and that is not 
in vain. The desires of the Spirit of God must be fulfilled. Therefore he 
shall come. And the Spirit of God stirs up our spirits to say * Come.' There 
are all kind of proofs and arguments for it. It is an article of our faith. 
It is laid here for a ground, and therefore I will not enlarge myself in it, 
but come to the next point. Christ will appear, and 

' We shall also appear with him in glory.' 

We shall appear, and appear with him, and appear in glory with him. 
Christ himself his glory is in some sort hid now. For though he be king 
of the church, j^et we see what enemies are in the church ; and Satan 
ruflles* in the church a great while, and the nearer he is to his end the 
more he rageth. So that Chi'ist's glory seems to be hid. But Christ then 
shall appear, and his church shall appear with him in glory. 

Quest. Why shall we appear with Christ and be glorious with him ? 

Ans. I answer, This is clear, partly because it is Christ's ivill ; in John 
xvii., ' Father, I will that where I am they may be also.' It is Christ's last 
testament that we should be where he is and be glorious with him, and 
Christ's will must be fulfilled. 

Again, Consider ichat u-e are to Christ, how near we are brought to him, 
and then this will be clear, that when Christ shall appear in glory, we 
must appear with him. For Christ is our husband, and we are his spouse. 
When Christ comes to be glorious, therefore, his spouse must be glorious. 
Now is but the time of contract, the time of the marriage solemnity shall 
be at the appearing of Christ. Therefore, ' when he shall appear, we shall 
appear with him in glory.' Christ, in his own person, distinct fi-om his 
church, is now glorious as a head ; but Christ mystical is not glorious, 
Christ mystical sufi'ers. There are many members that are not yet called. 
Some are abased, and some are not brought to the fold. And Christ hath 
a care of his mystical body, as of his natural body ; and as that is glorious 
in heaven, so he will bring all his members to be one glorious body. He 
gave his natural body to redeem his mystical body. Therefore, as he is 
glorious in that in heaven, so he will be glorious in his mystical body in 
every believing soul at the last, when he ' shall come to be glorified in his 
saints,' as the apostle saith, 2 Thess. i. 10. He is glorious in himself 
now, then he will be glorious in his spouse. 

And then from the ground of predestination: Rom. viii. 29, 30, ' We are 
predestinate to be conformed to Christ, that he might be the fixst-born 
of many brethren.' Now, Christ being glorious, and we being predestinate 
before the world was to be like unto Christ ; first, in abasement, to be 
abased for him that was abased for us, to sufi"cr for him that suffered for 
us, and to be conformed to him in grace, there must be a time to be con- 
formed to him in glory. From the ground of election there must be a state 
of glory. Our glory must be revealed when Christ shall come and appear. 
* This is, = makes a stir, or puts on state.— G. 


I -will press no more reasons that we must be glorious at the second coming 
of Clirist as well as himself. 

Quest. Wherein stands this glory ? 

Am. To clear this point a little — I will not be long in it, — because, indeed, 
this glory is such as ' eye hath not seen, nor car heard, nor hath it entered 
into the heart of man,' 1 Cor. ii. 9. The apostles speak not much of it. 
They speak of it in negative terms, by denying imperfections. ' It is an 
inheritance incorruptible, immortal,' Sec, 1 Peter i. 4. And when it is 
resembled to earthly things, it is compared to a banquet, to a marriage, &c. 
But this glory it shall be in body, in soul, in the whole man. 

Ill soul there shall be the knowledge of those mysteries of salvation that 
now we are ignorant of. Now we are in the grammar-school, but that shall 
be as the university. Then we shall know things more clearly. We shall 
see God face to face, and then our souls shall be raised to be capable of 
more knowledge and grace. Now the vessel of our soul is not capable, to 
know that that we shall then; they are not capable, as they shall be' in 
heaven. St Paul himself was not capable ; therefore when he was taken 
up into the third heavens, lest he should be proud of his revelations, he 
was fain to be abased. We are not capable, we cannot know the glory 
of heaven in a full measure now; but then, God shall enlarge the heart 
and sanctify it, that we shall have strong spirits, and holy understandings 
and affections to understand holy things ; we shall know God face to face. 
There shall be a proportion between the glorious things in heaven and our 
soul ; there shall be a heavenly soul for a heavenly place, whereas yet it is 
not so. 

I forbear to shew the particulars of the glory of the body. The apostle 
Paul sets it down : 1 Cor. xv. 44, ' It shall be a spiritual body.' It shall 
be guided by the Spirit ; and the body, it shall not then need meats and 
drinks, but God ' shall be all in all.' Now, our life at the best is fed and 
clothed by the creatures ; then, all shall be taken out of God himself. God 
himself shall be all in all. The presence of God, and of Christ our Saviour, 
shall supply all that we have now other ways. Now comfort is conveyed 
from this creature and from that ; but whatsoever comfort we have now 
dropped by the creatures we shall then have all in him, and in fulness, 
and for evermore. So we shall be glorious in soul and body. 

And in our whole man the image of God and Christ shall be perfectly 
restored. We shall be like Christ, reserving the difference between the 
head and the members ; reserving the difference of a natural Son and of 
sons adopted. He shall be more glorious than we. We shall be glorious 
as much as we are capable of. In all fulness of joy, and grace, and 
dominion over the creature, in freedom from ill and readiness to good, 
we shall^ be glorious sons of God. I need not to be long in unfolding 
these things. 

Quest. When shall this be ? 

Aus.^ 'When ho shall appear,' saith the apostle, 'we shall also appear 
with him in glory.' It is carried indefinitely, to stop curiosity. There is 
no time set down ; but ' icheii he shall appear,' &c. In a word, when all 
the elect shall be gathered together. It is not meet that our bodies and 
souls should be glorified till all God's people be gathered together. As in 
a fomily they do not sit down till all the servants be come in, and then 
they sit down together, so in this great family of God, the saints in heaven 
and earth, there shall not be perfect glory till all be gathered and saved. 
And then what a blessed time will that be, when every one shall be glorious 


himself, and shall put down the sun in glory in his body and soul, and 
■when there shall be such a world of them so glorious. 

If every star be beautiful, how beautiful are all in their lustre ! When 
so many saints shall be gathered together, they shall be far more glorious 
than the/sun in his majesty ; and this glory is reserved till all be gathered 
together. God said of the creatures severally they were good, but when 
he looked on them together they were exceeding good. So the several 
souls of Christians are glorious, but at the day of judgment, when all shall 
be gathered together, there shall be an exceeding glory. It is reserved, I 
say, for the gathering together of the saints ; when Christ, who is the head, 
shall have gathered all by his word and ministry out of this sinful world — 
which are scattered here and there — then they shall come to perfect glory. 
Then there shall be perfect union between the body and soul ; then there 
shall be a perfect union between us and all that are dead together ; then 
there shall be a perfect union between us and Christ ; then we shall have 
the perfect fruition of God, of angels, of all the blessed company in heaven. 
Oh what a blessed time will this be ! and this shall be at the glorious 
appearing of Christ. 

Christ shall appear in glory himself, as verily as he appeared in his first 
coming ; and we shall appear with him in glory. 

Why should we doubt of it ? Is not that which is greater done aheady ? 
Hath not God himself become man ? Hath not God died, and God been 
abased in his first coming ? Is not that more wonder than that a man should 
become like God in his second coming ? Whether is greater, for God 
to become man, or for men to be raised out of their graves and become 
glorious ? Certainly this is the lesser. Why should we doubt of it ? Let 
us raise our hearts with this, that as verily as he came in abasement to work 
our salvation, so verily he shall come and raise us to glory ; and this is a 
lesser work than the former. 

But to come nearer, to make some further use of this, surely these are 
main points, and should be oft thought on. Oh that the hearts of Chris- 
tians were exercised with them ! Could we be dead either for grace or 
comfort, if we did oft think of this with application ? Let us oft warm our- 
selves with these things ; let us bring ourselves to the light ; let us think 
of the blessed times to come : could we be unfruitful ? This made Saint 
Paul adjure Timothy and the Thessalonians : * I beseech you, by the com- 
ing of our Lord Jesus Christ,' &c., 2 Tim. iv. 1, 2 Thes. ii. 1. I shall 
need no greater argument to press you, than as verily as Christ shall come in 
glory, and as you shall be gathered to him, so hear what I saj. So Saint 
Paul chargeth Timothy : 1 Tim. vi. 13, ' I charge thee before Christ, who 
at his coming, &c., keep this commandment.' This will move a man's 
conscience, and carry him to duty, if nothing else will. Let us think 
seriously, Christ will come with thousands of his angels in glory and ma- 
jesty, and all shall be glory then, there shall be nothing but glory : 
glorious in his company, glorious in himself, glorious in his enemies ; he 
shall trample them under his feet by a glorious confusion ; there shall be 
nothing but glory in heaven and earth then. And we shall come to the 
same glory. The spouse shall partake of the glory of her husband. Let 
us think of this, it will quicken and inspire all our courses with a spiritual 
kind of light to all actions ; it will enliven and quicken them. 

And it will put a kind of manner upon all our actions that they shall be 
acceptable to God. For how should we perform all that comes from us ? 
All should be done in sincerity, and constantly, and abundantly, and cheer- 



fully, readily, and willingly ; for God requires these qualifications in what 
we do. Now, what stirs us up to do all in this manner, acceptably to God, 
but this consideration ? 

What stirs us up to do things sincerely to Christ ? He will appear in 
glory ; therefore let us do things that may stand with his judgment. It is 
no matter what the reprobates of the world judge ; let us do things so as 
we may stand before Christ at that day. A Christian studie*^. to arraign 
himself before Christ, that he may do that that may approve him to him 
that shall be his judge ere long. 

And so let US hold out ; we shall receive a reward. What will malje us 
constant but this ? What makes a man sow his seed, that he scarcely can 
spare, but the hope of a harvest ? What makes a man run, but the victory 
and the crown ? So Avhat makes a man work, but the hope of reward '? 
Be constant, ' for in him ye shall receive the reward if ye faint not,' 
Gal. vi. 9. 

And so for abowiding in good works, ' your labour is not in vain in the 
Lord,' 1 Cor. xv. 58. What made Saint Paul press the abounding in good 
works ? ' Finally, my brethren, be stedfast and unmoveable, alway 
abounding in the work of the Lord.' Why ? ' for your labour is not in vain 
in the Lord.' Your bodies shall rise again ere long in glory; when Christ 
shall appear you shall appear, and be glorious with him. ' Therefore 
abound in the\vork of the Lord,' 1 Cor. xv. 58; ' sow to the Spirit,' Gal. 
vi. 8, and you shall reap glory. ' They that sow sparingly shall reap 
sparingly,' 2 Cor. ix. 6. What makes men abound in works of mercy and 
love, but this appearing of Christ ? If their love be perfect, they have 
comfort in this appearing, and if they abound in mercy, Christ will appear 
in mercy to them. 

And so /or cheerfulness. That God also requires in every action. What 
enlargeth the heart of a man in God's work ? What puts fire into his 
affections but this, that Christ will come and appear in glory ere long ? 
That he will come and crown every good work ; that we shall not lose a 
good word that hath been spoken in a good cause ; not the least good 
action ; not a cup of cold water ; but all shall stand on our reckoning ' at 
that day when Christ shall come to be glorious in his saints.' This makes 
us do things sincerely, constantly, abundantly, and cheerfully. 

I beseech you, consider from what ground these things come ; for these 
are principles that should be grounds of faith. They are pregnant, and 
spread themselves through the whole course of a Christian's life, and there- 
fore are worthy to be thought often on. 

Again, Why doth God reveal these things beforehands, that we shall 
appear in glory in our body and soul, in our whole man ? As it shews us 
our duty and the manner of it, so it is a ground of comfort in all estates. 
A Christian may think, Now my life is a hidden, secret life. I pass under 
censures. It is thus in the world, and thus with me. Well, there will _a 
time come, the time of resurrection, that will make amends for all — for this 
sickness of body and disquiet of mind, and all annoyance and adversity ; 
and it is revealed beforehand for our comfort that there shall be such a 
time, that we may make use of it, that w-e may ground our patience upon 
it. When Saint Paul exhorts to patience, saith he, ' The Lord is at hand,' 
Phil. iv. 5 ; and Saint James saith, ' The Judge standeth at the door,' chap. 
V. 9. Let us be patient in mfamies and sufierings ; it will be otherwise ere 
long, Christ is at hand. 

Again, That ice might continuallij he breathing out thankfulncs-i to God. 



Our whole life slioulcl be spent in thankfulness to God. Even as the angels 
in heaven that stand in the presence of God, and the blessed spirits in heaven, 
they spend that vigour that is in them, they spend all that is in them in prais- 
ing God, in thanks and laud to God, and sing, ' Glory, glory ; ' so beforehand 
knowing that ere long we shall appear with Christ, and appear in glory, let us 
thank him beforehand. As Saint Peter saith, ' Blessed be God, that hath 
begotten us again to an inheritance, immortal, undefiled, &c., reserved in 
heaven for us,' 1 Peter i. 3. Let us bless God beforehand, as if we were in 
heaven already. Certainly if we hope to be with those that shall sit in heavenly 
places in heaven to praise God, we will begin it on earth ; for the life of 
heaven is begun on earth. We are kings now; we are priests now ; we 
are conquerors now ; we are new creatures now. We must praise God, 
and begin the employment of heaven now ; for what they do perfectly, that 
we begin to do. In heaven we know there is no ill company ; we will 
abstain from it now. There is no defilement of sin ; we will conform our- 
selves to that estate we hope for. There is nothing but praising of God ; 
as much as may be we will warm our hearts with the meditation of what 
God hath done, what he doth, and what he hath reserved for the time to 
come, with that we have in hope. The best things of a Christian especially, 
are in hope ; for that which we have by Christ principally is not in this 
world ; therefore considering that the best things that Christ died for are 
in hope, ' let us rejoice in hope,' and in rejoicing have our hearts enlarged 
with praising of God for that we hope for. 

And be comforted in all the changes of this life, all the changes for the 
time to come, and in death itself, which is the last change. Are not all 
degrees to make way for that glorious appearing with Christ ? for the soul 
at death goes to heaven, and the body shall come after. Why should we 
be loath to die, when death is nothing but a change from misery to happi- 
ness ? a change from the danger of sinning, to an impossibility of sinning ; 
from a vale of misery to a place of happiness ; from men to God ; from 
sinful persons that trouble our peace and quiet to better company in heaven ; 
from actions that are sinful to actions altogether free from sin. It is a 
glorious and blessed change every way. We shall have better company, 
better place, better employment, all glorious then, till the time come that 
all the elect be gathered together, and then body and soul shall be ' for ever 
with the Lord,' 1 Thess. iv. 17. Why then should we fear changes, when 
all changes shall end in that that is better ? Is a labouring man loath to 
have his hire, or a weary man loath to have rest ? Is a king loath to be 
crowned ? Is a party contracted loath to have the marriage consummate ? 
Why should we be loath to die ? We should be ashamed of ourselves, that 
we have been so long in the school of Christ, and yet have not learned to 
unloose our affections from earth to better things ; that we stand in fear of 
death, that makes way to the glory of the soul now, and the eternal glory of 
body and soul after. 

In a word, we are exhorted, in the beginning of the chapter, to have our 
minds in heaven, where Christ is; and we are exhorted, after the text, to 
mortify our earthly members ; two necessary duties, to have our conversa- 
tion in heaven, before we be there, and to mortify our earthly members ; 
to die in our affections to earthly things, before we die indeed. Would we 
have strength put into our souls to perform both these ? Let us oft medi- 
tate of the things that are between these verses. Let us consider that we 
are dead, so we should be more lively to God. Consider that our life is 
bid with Christ ; that Christ shall appear ere long and we with him in glory. 



We should raise our thoughts to bo with Christ, and draw our souls up to 
heavenly things ; for the more our aflections are upwards, the less they will 
be below. Our affections are finite. The more we spend them on heavenly 
things, the less they will run on earthly. As a man in a trance, his thoughts 
are taken up with one matter, that he is dead to other things, so the soul 
which is taken up with the glory to come, and with Christ, it is dead to 
earthly things ; only it takes them for necessary use, as having use of them 
in our travail ; but it useth the world as if it used it not. And this issues 
from this principle, that we shall ere long appear with Christ in glory. 
There is no man but will drown himself too much with the things of the 
world, that hath not this to raise up his soul, ' I shall appear ere long with 
Christ in glory,' and then these things will be consumed. 

The last point is, how these depend one vpon another, that because Christ 
shall appear in glory, therefore we. 

I will touch it a little, because it is a point of faith that helps our judg- 
ment a little. It is a ground of divinity, that whatsoever is in us that are 
members, it is in our head first ; for God is first, and then Christ mediator, 
and then we. Whatsoever is good in us, or shall be to us, it is in 
Christ first. He is justified from our sins, for he was our surety from sin. 
He was abased for them first ; therefore he shall appear then without sin 
to glory. Our sin was but imputed to Christ ; be became our surety for 
sin and he must be abased ; therefore we cannot be glorious here, because 
of our corruptions. Christ was surety for our sins in his first coming. 
Now his resurrection shewed that he had satisfied for our sins. The second 
time he shall appear in glory. Why are we justified from our sins ? Because 
Christ, our surety, was acquitted. 

We ascend gloriously to heaven. Where is the ground of it ? He 
ascended first, and we ascend for him and in him. 

We sit in heavenly places. ^Vlly ? Because he is in heaven beforehand ; 
as the husband takes up a place for his wife. Why doth she^ go into the 
country and take it up after ? Because her husband hath gone before and 
taken it. Our ascension riseth from his, and our sitting at the right hand 
of God from his. 

And so at the day of judgment, our being glorious, it comes from his. 
He then shall appear in glory, as the head and husband of his church, and 
shall shine upon all his members. He, as the sun, shall cast a lustre and 
beauty and glory upon all that are his ; and then they shall reflect that 
glory they have from him upon him again, and he upon them again. So 
he shall be glorious in them and they in him ; but the ground of all is, he 
is first in glory. He shall appear in glory, and then we in him. 

I speak this the rather, because I would have humble consciences to 
make use of it in times of desertion, when God seems to be a God that 
hides himself, when they find no life nor comfort. Yet if they have but 
grace to believe, they may comfort themselves in this. Well, I have it 
but from Christ, and he is perfect in glory. He is ascended, and I shall 
ascend and rise, and be glorious, because he is so. Put case now I feel no 
such matter. It is no matter. I live by faith in Christ, that hath all in 
fulness; and what he hath done for me, he will do in me, if I believe in him. 

Let a troubled soul comfort itself with this. It is as impossible that he 
should be damned that believes in Christ, as that Christ should be damned, 
because he, believing in Christ, is one with him, and as verily as Christ is 
in heaven, he shall be there ; for Christ rose for all his. The little finger 
lives the same hfe as the hand or the foot doth. So a weak Christian that 



hath little grace, he lives by the same faith in Christ that is in glory, as 
well as they that are stronger. Let us strive and fight, with this encourage- 
ment, as St Paul saith, ' fight the good fight of faith,' 1 Tim. vi. 12. Oh, 
but shall we be alwa3-s fighting and striving? No, saith he; lay hold of 
eternal life, and then we may well fight against doubts and despair. Let 
us therefore labour to fight, so that we may lay hold on eternal life, which 
Christ keeps for us, and keeps us for it ; and ere long we shall partake of 
that we hope for. 




' The Spiritual Jubilee ' is designated in the title-page ' two sermons.' Probably 
only the substance of them is given. There is no division between them. They 
form No. 6 of the 'Beams of Divine Light' (4to, 1639). The separate title-page 
will be found below,* and also the general title-page of the volume from wliicli the 
' Spiritual Jubilee ' is taken. f The Epistles Dedicatory and To the Reader of ' The 
Beams of Light ' are herewitli prefixed. G. 

* THE 

I U B I L E. 

In two Sermons. 


The late learned and reverend Divine, 

EiCH. SiBBs: 

Doctor in Divinitie, M' of Katherine Ilall 

in Cambridge, and sometimes Preacher 

at G R A Y E S-I N N E. 

John 8. 3G. 
If the Sonne therefore shall make you free, yee shall 
be free indeed. 

Gal. 5. 1. 
Standfast therefore in the liberty, wherewith Clirist 
hath made us free. 


Printed by E. P. for Nicholas Bourne, and 

Rapha Harford, and are to be sold at the South 

entrance of the Royall Exchange, and in 

Queens head Alley, in Pater-Noster-Row, 

at the gilt Bible. 16 3 8. 




Breaking forth from severall places 

of holy Scripture, as they were 

learnedly opened, 

In XXI. Sermons. 

The III. first being the fore-going Sermons 

to that Treatise called The Bruiscd-Reed,X 

Preached on the precedent words. 

By the late Reverend and ludicious Divine, 

Richard Sibs, 

D.D.Mr, of Katharine Hall in Camb : and sometimes 

Preacher at Graves Inne. 

Published according to the Doctor his owne 

appointment subscribed with his hand ; 

to prevent imperfect Coppies. 

EsAV. CO. 3. 

The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and Kings to the 

hrightnesse of thy rising. 

Psalm. 84. 11. 
For the Lord God is a Sun and shield, the Lord will give 
grace and glory ; and no good thing will he withhold from them 
that walke uprightly. 


Printed ])y G. M. for N. Bourne, at the Royal Exchange, and R Harford, 

at the guilt Bible in Queenes-head Alley in Fater-Noster-Row. 


X See Vol. I. page 42.— G. 








grace and peace from jesus christ. 

Right Honourable and truly Noble, 

It was not so much the nobility of your blood, as that of 
grace given unto you from the divine hand, which did so much interest you 
in the love and esteem of that worthy servant of Christ the author of this 
work ; in whom ' Urim and Thummim ' met, v/hose whole course being a 
real and vital sermon, sweetly consonant to the tenor of his teaching, made 
him amiable living, and honourable dead, in the opinion of as many as well 
knew him. This was the thing, I suppose, which wrought unto him from 
you, as well as from many others of your noble stock and rank, more than 
an ordinary esteem ; and this is that which maketh me in nothing to doubt 
but that his labours made public under your names shall be very welcome 
unto you. The work is answering unto the man, and therefore worthy you 
and your acceptance ; only this is the disadvantage, that though these 
sermons had his own tongue to preach them, yet they want his own pen to 
commend them unto your honours. I well know that the expressions of 
holy truths from a gracious heart, by lively voice, do breed deeper impres- 
sions in thirsting and reverent hearers, than any publishing of them in dead 
letters can do ; yet this we find in experience, that holy and necessary 
truths, this way coming abroad into the churches of God, do get the advan- 
tage to continue longer, and to become a more general good. They may 
stir up,the affections, and set onwards in the course of holiness where the 
comforts are sure, and the honours honouring everlasting. 

In these ensuing sermons you have variety, the mother of delight ; and 
such notable descriptions of the person, offices, love, and life of Christ, that 
by them you may not only be settled in divine assurances to your further 

• For notices of these well-known patrons of the Puritan clergy, consult any of 
the Peerages. — G. 


comforts, but also directed and encouraged, both in your inward and out- 
ward conversation, to follow the example of Christ, the most blessed and 
unerring example unto all Christians. This champion I beseech you both 
to follow unto your lives' end. Make it your work to set up Christ, and 
his religion, both in your hearts and in your houses. Acknowledge none 
but Christ in matter of salvation ; and none to Christ in point of aflfection. 
Let Christ be Christ with you, and then if Christ, — and if not Christ nothing 
can be worth anything — ho will make you worthy indeed, he will prove unto 
you in life and death a sun, a shield, even a full and an answerable good. 
With this Christ I leave you, and with you these ensuing sermons, to be 
read and observed for your spiritual furtherances in the enjoyment of 
eternal life by Jesus Christ, desiring the great God of heaven and earth to 
look upon both you and yours in much grace and mercy ; giving unto you 
all the comfort and crown of religion here on earth, and hereafter in 
heaven. I rest. 

Your honours' to be commanded, 

John Sedgwick.* 

* Of. Vol. IV. p. 432.-0. 


Christian Reader — The word of God is given ns as a most precious treasure, 
and that not for ourselves only, but for our children after us, and therefore 
is called Israel's inheritance : Deut. xxxiii. 4, ' Moses commanded us a 
law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob.' All the wealth in 
the world is but as dirt and trash in comparison of the word to the people 
of God. ' Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever : for they 
are the rejoicing of mine heart,' saith David, Ps. cxix. 111. And therefore 
as they rejoice in their own enjoying of it, so they do what they may to 
assure it to their children when they are dead, that it may be entailed upon 
them and their posterity after them ; yea, so they do also with the know- 
ledge of divine truths which they have found in the word ; which is not 
indeed found out by men all at one time, but by degrees, as gold is found 
in mines, as men come to search farther and farther, and dig deeper and 
deeper for it. It was not, they know, imparted to them for their own use 
only, but for the benefit of others. ' The manifestation of the Spirit is 
given to profit withal,' 1 Cor. xii. 7 ; and therefore as it comes to them from 
heaven they hand it to others, that so it may be continued in the church, 
' the ground and pillar of truth,' 1 Tim. iii. 15, for the good of those that 
shall live in future times. 

This was, I hope, the chief aim of those that have published these 
sermons of that worth}' light of our church, Dr Sibs. And surely we have 
great cause in this regard thankfully to acknowledge their care and pains, 
who both took them so exactly from his mouth as he delivered them, and 
then kept them so charily as rriv xaXriv ':rapa-/.aTal)yjy.r,v, ' a precious thing 
committed to their trust,' 2 Tim. i. 14, and have now published them for the 
common good of all that will make use of them. For by this means what was 
delivered to a few may now build up many to farther degrees of knowledge 
and grace, even all the land over, and they that never saw his face maybe 
made sharers in those his labours, which only a few were so happy as to 

Being myself one amongst others that have found the advantage hereof, I 
was not so hardly won as otherwise I should have been, to commend these 
' Beams of Divine Light ' to the respect of others. Divers truths of 
greatest consequence are exactly handled in the several sermons here pre- 
sented to you, as concerning the misery of our natural estate, and the bliss 
and happiness of those that are quickened by Christ ; concerning the 
necessity of the word, our spiritual food, and the zealous violence of the 
faithful in pressing after it ; concerning the divers both joys and sorrows, 
complaints and triumphs of God's children here, when they are black 



though comely, Cant. i. 5 ; and concerning their happiness in death, and 
glory after it, and many other, whereof these few are only a taste. 

The study of the Scriptures made the author a man of God, ' perfect, 
thoroughly furnished unto all good works ;' and as became a faithful steward 
of the manifold grace of God, he endeavoured ' to teach the whole counsel 
of God,' and to store men with the knowledge of God's will, ' in all wisdom 
and spiritual understanding.' I desire that both thou and I, and all God's 
people, may so read these his labours, that it may further our growing in 
grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whose grace I 
commend thee, being 

Thine in him. 

Arthur Jackson.* 

Wood Street, November 6. 1638. 

* For notice of Jackson, see Vol. II. p. 442.— G. 



For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from, the 
law of sin and of death. — Rom. VIII. 2. 

There be four things especially that trouble the peace of a Christian, and 
indeed of any man, in this world. 

The first is, sin, with the r/itilt of it, binding them over to the wrath of 
God, and the expectation of misery, a heavy bondage. 

The second is, besides the guilt of sin, the remainders of corruption, with 
the conflict that accompanies them while we live in this world ; and that 
conflict must needs be tedious. 

The third is, the miseries of this life that accompany alway both the guilt 
and remainders of sin in this world. We are condemned to a great deal of 
trouble here, and this doth much exercise and perplex God's children. 
And then the shutting up of all, death and damnation. 

The thought of these things doth much disquiet and disturb the peace of 
a Christian's soul. 

Now, in this Epistle we have comfort against all these. First, for the 
guilt of sin, that binds us over to eternal judgment and the wrath of God; 
we are freed by the obedience of Christ, the second Adam, as is excellently 
shewed in the fifth chapter. 

And for the remainders of corruption that we conflict with in this world, 
we are assisted against that by the Spirit of Christ. For r s by the obe- 
dience of Christ we are freed from the guilt, so by the Spirit of Christ we 
are helped and assisted against the remainders of our corruptions. 

For the third, the miseries of this life, we have victory in Chiist : ' In him 
we are more than conquerors,' as you have it in this chapter, Rom. viii. 37. 
They can do us no harm. ' Nothing can separate us from the love of God 
in Christ Jesus.' We have many singular comforts in this chnpter against 
all the troubles that can befall us, and this is one that triumphs over all : 
' All things shall work for the best to them that love God.' What should 
I speak of hurt from anything that befalls us, when all shall work for the 
best, by the over-ruling of him that commands all ? ver. 28. 

And'^for death itself: ' Neither life nor death shall be able to separate us 
from the love of God.' And for damnation which accompanies death: ' It 
is God that justifieth, who shall condemn ?' There is opposite comforts 

VOL. V. P 


in God's book, nay, in tliis epistle and in tliis chapter, against all that 
may any v^ay trouble our peace. ' There is no condemnation to them that 
are in Christ Jesus,' saith the apostle ; and then he goes on after to shew 
how, by the help of the Spirit, ' all things work for the best,' &c. In this 
very verse likewise, you have this comfort set down, of our freedom by 
Christ from any thing that may hurt us. ' For the law of the Spirit of life 
in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and of death.' 

The words are dependent, as we see in the particle ' for ;' 'for the law 
of the Spirit of Hfe,' &c. They depend upon the first verse thus; as a 
reason why, however there be sin in God's children, yet there is no dam- 
nation to them. ' There is no condemnation to those that are in Christ 
Jesus.' He proves it thus. Those that are free from the law of sin and 
of death, which brings in condemnation, those undoubtedly are free from 
damnation. But those that are in Christ Jesus, they are freed from the 
law of sin and of death ; therefore there is no condemnation to such. But 
how shall we know that we are in Christ Jesus ? Those that have the 
Spirit, and are led by the Spirit of Christ, they are in Christ. ' The law 
of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath freed me from the law of sin and 
of death.' So I say, the words are especially a reason of the former, 
* There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus ;' because by 
the ' Spirit of Christ they are freed from the law of sin, and of death ;' and 
by consequent, they are freed from damnation ; for what brings in damna- 
tion but sin ? 

In the words, then, there is an opposition. There is law against law. 
' Tlie law of the Spirit of life in Christ,' and ' the law of sin and of death.' 
Now, where there are contrary laws, if there be contrary lords, as there 
must le, new lords will have new laws ; especially if they be lords by con- 
quest, they will alter the very fundamental laws that were before ; as you 
know the old conquerors have done in this kingdom. Here is law against 
law, and lord against lord ; Christ against sin and death. Here is a Lord 
by conquest over all other lords and laws. Therefore, here must needs be 
an alteration of laws upon it ; the very fundamental laws must be altered. 
But to come more particularly to the words, 

' For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath freed me from the 
law of sin and of death.' 

The words are much vexed by expositors (a). I will rather speak my 
own judgment of them, and reconcile them, than dash one man's judgment 
against another ; for that tends not to edification. ' The law of the Spirit 
of life,' &c. The meaning of the words is plain, if we compare it with 
other Scriptures. 

' The law.' It is nothing but a commanding power ; for so the word 
written the law, in the apostle's meaning, is but a power forcing and com- 
manding. So the ' law of the Spirit of life' is the commanding and forcing 
power of the ' Spirit of hfe in Christ Jesus ;' and so the ' law of sin,' it is 
either the tyrannical command and forcing power of sin, or else the con- 
demning for sin afterwards, as we shall see hereafter. For we shall unfold 
the words better in the particulars. 

First, then, here we have set down what estate we are in by nature : ' "We 
are under the law of sin and of death.' 

And then, here is our freedom and deliverance from that : ' We are made 
free from the law of sin and of death.' 

And then the author of it, Christ Jesus : ' The law of the Spirit of life 
in Christ Jesus hath freed me from the law of sin and of death.' 


In the words, and those that go a little before, there are these three main 
fundamental points of religion : 

The viiscri/ (oni hondcKje of man. 

The deliverance of man. 

And his dttti/. 

Here 3-011 have his misery. He is under ' sin and death.' 

Here is his deliverance. He is ' free from this by Christ.' 

And for his duty ; you have it in the last verse of the former chapter, 
speaking of his deliverance. * Oh wretched man that I am, who shall 
deliver me from the body of this death ?' Then it follows, ' Thanks be to 
God through Jesus Christ our Lord.' Thankfulness is due, not verbal 
thankfulness only. Indeed, the whole life of a Christian, after his deliver- 
ance, is a real thanksgiving. But that is not in my text. 

To speak, therefore, of our estate b}- nature, and of our deliverance ; our 
estate is, that we are under the law of sin and death. 
^ * We are under the law of sin.' 

Ols. 'We ave nnder sin. What sin ? We are under a threefold sin. 

1. We are under the ^first sin of our first father ; for as Levi paid tithes 
in Abraham to Melchisedec, so we all sinned in the loins of Adam om* first 
parent ; and the guilt of that first sin lies upon us. 

2. Secondly, There is another sin that is derived and springs from that 
first sin ; which is the deprivation of the image of God, the pravation of our 
nature. We call it original sin, whereby we are stripped of that good we 
had in our first creation, and have the contrary image, the image of Satan 
stamped upon us. So we are under the'fu'st sin, the guilt of it; and we 
are under the sin of nature, which we call original sin, because it is derived 
to us even from our birth and first original we had in Adam. 

3. And then we are under actual sins, which are so many bonds to tie 
us fast under sin. We are dead by nature ; but we are dead and rotten by 
actual sins. We superadd to the guilt of our sin by our daily conversation. 
We are blind by nature ; but we are blinded indeed much more by our cus- 
tom of life. Every sin doth, as it were, tie us faster to damnation, and 
keeps us faster under the bondage of sin. Every new sin takes away some 
part of the light of the understanding, and takes away some freedom of the 
will. It darkens the judgment more and more, and enthralls the will and 
afiections ; and binds a man more and more to the just sentence of God, 
that, as it is Prov. v. 22, ' the sinner is tied with the bonds of his own 
sins.' He is under the chains of an habituated wicked course of life, as 
well as of the sin of nature, which is the spring of all. 

This is the miserable state of man ; and these chains of his sins reserve 
him to fm-thcr chains. Even as the devil is reserved in chains ; that is, in 
terrors of his conscience, which as chains bind him till he be in hell, the 
place he is destinated to ; so we being in the chains and bondage, vexed 
with our sins, we are at the same time in the chains of terrors of conscience, 
the beginnings of hell, and reserved to chains of damnation and death 
world without end. It is another manner of matter, our estate by nature, 
than it is usually taken for. If men had but a little supernatural light, to 
see what condition they are in, till they get out into Christ Jesus, they 
would not continue a minute in that cursed estate. 

And we have deserved to be cast into this estate by reason that we left 
our subordination and dependence upon God, which, being creatures, we 
should have had. Therefore we turning from God to the creature, God 
punisheth our rebellion to him with rebellion in ourselves ; because we 


witbdi'ew our subjection from him, that therefore there should be in us a 
withdrawing of the subjection of sin and of the whole soul to God. So 
this captivity to and giving up to sin in us, it is penal and sinful ; but as it 
comes from God, it is merely* judicial. Therefore we have it oft in the 
New Testament, in Kom. i. 21 and 2 Thes. ii. 10. The Gentiles, because 
they would not entertain the truth that they might have had by the light of 
nature, • God gave them up to their sins.' And then the Christians after 
the apostles' times, they set slight by the good word of God, the gospel. 
Therefore * God gave them up to believe lies.' It was sin in them ; but 
as God gave them up, it was justice. So this captivity and giving men up 
to their own lusts, it is justice ; as it comes from God, it is a horrible judg- 
ment. It is worse than to be given up to the devil himself; for by being 
given up to our lusts we increase our damnation. To be given up to be 
tormented of the devil, it is not such a mischief as this spiritual captivity 
under sin. We are guilty ourselves of our own thraldom. And this will 
increase both the shame and the punishment. The shame, that a man 
shall say in hell afterward, ' I have brought myself hither, I had means 
enough, prohibitions enough ; I had sometimes chastisements of God, 
sometimes motions of his Spirit, sometimes one help from God, sometimes 
another ; yet notwithstanding I brake through all oppositions that God set 
between me and the execution of my lusts, and to hell-ward I would, and 
hither I have brought myself.' So that indeed the greatest part of hell- 
torments, the shame of them especially, it will be that men have brought 
themselves by their own wits and carnal lusts thither. And indeed all the 
wit a carnal man hath, that is not sanctified by God's' Spirit, it is to work 
himself to misery, to be a drudge to his lusts ; that sets all the parts he 
hath on work, not how he may serve God and be happy in another world, 
but how he may prowl and provide for his own carnal lusts. This is the 
estate of all men by nature. They are under sin, under the power of sin. 
The blind judgment leads the blind affections, and both ' fall into the ditch,' 
into hell, Luke vi. 39. 

1. The fearfulness and odiousness of this condition, to be in prison and 
thraldom and bondage to all kind of sin, natural and actual, it will appear 
further by this, that being in subjection to our base lusts, by consequence 
we are binder the boudaije of Satan; for he hath power over death by sin, 
because he draws us to sin, and then accuseth us and torments us for sin. 
By sin we come to bo under his bondage. So that we are under the fearful 
captivity of the devil while we are under the captivity of sin ; for all the 
power that he hath over us it is by sin. He is but God's executioner for 
sin. First, God gives him power to draw us to sin, to punish one sin with 
another ; and then he sutlers him to accuse and to torment us afterward. 
What a fearful bondage is this, that being under sin we are under Satan ! 
We are servants to our enemy, as God threatened his people that they 
should serve their enemies. But this is a greater judgment, to be slaves 
to this enemy. This is the condition of every sinner. To be a slave to a 
man's enemy, it is a judgment of judgments ; yet notwithstanding this is 
the case of every man by nature ; he is a servant to his enemy, to Satan 
and his own lusts. He is a right Ham, a ' servant of servants ;' for Satan 
useth him as the Philistines did Samson : he puts out his eyes ; he puts 
out his judgment, his wits ; he besots him ; and so he goes blind in Satan's 
blind work and business : he is in a maze all his life long, till at length he 
sink into hell. So this is the aggravation of a man's estate by nature, he 
* That is, ' altogether.'— G. 


is a slave to his enemy. You know blessed Zacliarias saith, Luke i. 74, 75, 
' That, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve 
him without fear, in righteousness and holiness, all the days of our life.' 
There is no wicked man, but he is acted by the devil. Oh that we would 
consider of it ! We think we are led only by our own lusts and sins, as 
men ; but until a man be in Christ, ' he is ruled by the command of the 
prince of the air,' Eph. ii. 2, and in 2 Tim. ii. 26, ' he is ruled by Satan, 
according to his will.' Even as a bird in a snare, it may move up and 
down, but it is still in the snare, and he that hath it there cares not : he 
knows he hath it safe, and he goes about to catch other birds ; so when 
we are in our lusts and follow them, the devil hath us in his snare : he is 
secure of us, and goes about getting more and more still. The devil acts, 
and moves, and leads all carnal men. 

But how chanceth it that they do not know and perceive it ? 

It is because he goeth with the stream of their own corruptions. Indeed, 
we must make some limitation of this. In some cases the devil doth not 
move carnal men. They are better than the devil would have them be for 
the good of the commonwealth and state ; but yet take them as they stand 
in relation to religion, they may be devilish, secret, bitter, dark enemies to 
that. Though they may have strong heads for the good of the state, yet it 
is not from any intrinsecal good in themselves ; but God useth them and 
makes them do that. For the devil would have all naught ;■•'.= he is an 
enemy to the very swine ;■ therefore much more to the good of a state. 
Therefore there are many politic civilt virtues, as we see in Ahithophel and 
Judas, which no question is more than the devil would have. He vv-ould 
not have civil men so good ; he would not have them do that they do for 
the common good ofttimes. Yet the devil will be sure to be at one end of 
the good they do, to taint them, that their aim shall not be good. It shall 
not be to the glory of God ; it shall not be in reference to salvation. 

And so, as the good is temporal, they have a reward suitable to their 
desire ; they care for no more. For they beheve not heaven but in a 
general notion. It may be there is such things, it may be not. Therefore 
the good they do is some little petty obedience. And what do they desire ? 
To be well esteemed and respected ; to be venerable, and to have honour- 
able opinions in the hearts of men, that men may stoop in their conceits to 
them as men of respect. This they deserve indeed, and this they have ; 
God gives them that they would have. But as Christ tells the Pharisees, 
who did excellent good things, but it was to be ' seen of men,' he tells them 
' they had their reward,' Mat. vi. 2. They had all they looked for, for 
they were atheists ; they looked not for heaven. So a man may say of all 
that are out of the state of grace : though they do more than the devil 
would have them, and for divers degrees of what they do they are not sub- 
ject to the devil, yet he taints their actions one way or other in the end ; 
he joins himself in the action first or last ; he hath a hand in all their 
actions. So that, notwithstanding there be many good things, yet this 
hinders not a whit but that they may be under the power of the devil ', for 
it is but in reference to civil government and state, which is but for a time. 
« The fashion of this world passeth away,' 1 Cor. vii. 31. Here will be no 
magistrates to govern nor no people to be governed ere long. 

I speak it, because many men are ready to propound such and such, to 
imitate them in their courses ; and to say, I will be no more religious than 
he ; when, perhaps, all may be but formality and common graces for this 
* That is, 'nauglitj',' = wicked.— G. t That is, ' moral.'— G. 


world. God will honour some so mnch, to bo instruments for common 
good here ; but what is that to eternal salvation ? He may be a slave to 
his lusts, and an enem}' to the power of grace, for all that. Therefore, 
unless we see men wrought upon thoroughly, to be of the mind of Christ, 
to have the Spirit of Christ, to judge of things as Christ judgeth, to judge 
the service of God and doing his will to be the best things, and to ' go 
about doing good, 'Acts x. 38, and that with reference and obedience to God, 
all is notbing else. A man may be under the bondage of his corruptions, 
and so by them to Satan. 

Again, When we are under our lusts and sins, it is about earthly things ; 
tre are in slavery to that n-hicli is worse than onrsdves. Sin is the vilest thing 
in the world, and the things whereabout sin is occupied are the profits and 
pleasures and trifles of this world — mean petty things. It is a base slavery 
to consider whom we serve, 

3. And to consider what it is that is in bondage, the immortal soul of man, 
that had the image of God stamped upon it ; and in the soul of man, the 
most excellent part, the will, that is most free, yet being under sin, it is 
most bound. Our will was given us to cleave to God and the best 
things ; to make choice of the best things, and to cleave to them un- 
divided in life and death, and for ever ; and so by cleaving to things better 
than ourselves, to advance ourselves to a higher condition. For when the 
soul of man that is under better things, that is under God and Christ, and 
doth cleave to God and Christ in his affections, and to the things of a 
better life, these be things bettering a man's condition, even raising the 
soul from its own present estate to a glorious condition ; for we are as we 
aiiect.* Our wills and our affections do transform us. Therefore wicked 
men are called the world, because they love it ; and holy men are called 
heavenly, because they are carried in their affections and wills to heavenly 
things. Our affections and wills do denomiitate us, they give us the 
name ; nay, that is too little, they do give us the reality, the state. When 
God so alters and changes our dispositions, that out of a sanctified judg- 
ment we make a right choice of things, and then cleave to them in our 
wills and affections constantly, this raiseth our nature to be higher than 
itself: 'He that cleaveth to the Lord is one spirit,' as the apostle saith, 
Acts X. 38. f Indeed, our affections transform us anew. As it isVith the fire, 
it transforms cold and gross bodies to be all fiery ; so God and heavenly 
things work upon our hearts, they transform us to be like themselves. 

Now, for this inward soul of man, which is so excellent a thing, fitted 
by God to cleave to better things, for communion with himself and ever- 
lasting happiness, for this to be a drudge to base pleasures and profits, to 
the windy empty things of this world, to vain titles and such like empty 
things, and to place its happiness in these things, it is a pitiful degenera- 
tion that so excellent a thing as the immortal soul of man, that shall never 
die, should join with those things that shall make him miserable, that it 
sliall be better for a man that he had never been ; as it is said of Judas, 
' It had been better for that man that he had never been born,' Mat. 
xxvi. 24. 

4. In the next place, consider that that foUon-s this thraldom and baseness 
to our lusts. There is a double fruit of it. (1.) The one is uncertain. I 
mean, for our yielding to our base afiections, what get we ? ' The plea- 
sures of sin for a season,' Heb. xi. 25 ; a little pleasure or profit, perhaps 
not that neither ; but if we have it, it is a fading commodity, that goes 

* That is, ' choose,' 'love.'— G. t Qu- 1 Cor. vi. 17?— Ed. 


away quickly. When tliey are gotten, what are they ? Vanity. They 
promise more before we get them than they perform when we have them. 
But then (2.) There is another wages, that God injustice hath appointed for 
it, that is, ihaniiatiun: ' The wages of sin is death,' liom. vi. 23. It cries 
for wages. When we are under sin we can look for nothing but death, 
and therefore he joins them together here : * the law of sin and of death,' 
an expectation of eternal misery. This a man hath that is wedded to him- 
self, that hath not learned the first lesson in the gospel, to deny himself. 
He is a wretched slave to the devil in his best part and power ; his lusts 
imprison his will and affections ; his wit, that should devise how ho should 
be happy for eternity, it is only a drudge to his base lusts. There are a 
company of men that are the shame and blemish of the gospel, that set 
their wits a-work only how to devise to satisfy their base lusts ; and then 
the issue and conclusion of all this is eternal misery ; and in the mean- 
time, the expectation of misery in terrors of conscience. This is the 
estate of every man till he be translated by the Spirit of God to a better 
condition in Christ, that he spends out his time in a base and miserable 
thraldom, worse than the thraldom of the Israelites in Egypt or in Babylon. 

5. And it is so much the more fearful, because men are insensible of it, 
like bedlams, that make nothing of their chains, that laugh in their chains. 
A frantic man, when he is bound in chains, he laughs, when they that are 
about him weep at his misery. So you have men frolicking in sin. They 
will swear at liberty, and besot themselves at liberty, and corrupt their 
consciences, even for base trifles. They think they are in no bondage, and 
they do all wondrous cheerfully and well ; whenas indeed the more cheer- 
fully and readily any man performs the base service of sin, the more he 
is in bondage. Freedom is opposite to bondage. Notwithstanding, such 
is the nature of sin, that the more freely we do it the more we are bound ; 
because the more freedom we have, the more we are entangled. We run 
into guilt upon guilt, till after guilt comes execution, an eternal separation 
from the presence of God, and an adjudging to eternal torments for ever. 
. So that it is a false judgment tliat the world hath. They think great 
men happy men. Why ? They do as they list. Ay, they may do so, 
and ofttimes they take the liberty to do so. They will be under no laws. 
They are so far from obeying the law of God, that they are loath to be 
hampered with the laws of the state, or with any laws, but they will be 
above all. A miserable condition ! Why ? The more will a man hath 
in evil, the more miserable ; for the more freely and with less opposition 
he tangleth himself. Let his place be never so great, the deeper he sinks 
in rebellion, and the deeper he sinks into guilt upon guilt ; which will all 
come to a reckoning at the hour of death and day of judgment. So the 
men that we admire and envy most — out of simpleness and want of judg- 
ment — they are the most miserable creatures in the world, if they be out 
of Christ and have not grace. For they have nature let loose in them with- 
out restraint ; and nature being under the captivity of sin, becomes out of 
measure sinful in such. The less a man is curbed either from laws above 
him or the law within him to check him, the more wretched man he is. 
For the deeper he goes in rebellion and sin, the deeper his torment shall 
be afterward. 

Great persons have a great privilege. What is that '? They shall be 
greatly tormented. That is all the privilege that I know if they be 
naught.* Those that shake off all bonds, any earthly privilege and pre- 
* That is, ' naughty,' = wicked. — G. 



rogative is so far from exempting them from misery, that it makes them 
more miserable ; for unless they have grace to use those things that might 
be an advantage to better things, they sink deeper and deeper into sin, 
and so into terrors of conscience first or last ; and, by consequence, to 
damnation. Oh it is a fearful condition to be the greatest monarch in the 
world and not to be in Christ, and under the law of ' the Spirit of life in 
Christ' ! They are the objects of pity above all kind of men to truly 
judicious souls, that know out of God's truth, and by the light of the 
Spirit, W'hat is to be judged of the state of men. You see then what kind 
of misery it is that natural men are under, being under the law of sin. 

G. To declare it a little further, for men will hardly think it is such a 
bondage to be under sin. Therefore, I beseech you, do but consider Iwvi 
sin tTjranniscth ichere it gets streur/th. See it in some instances. The 
covetous worldly man that is under the law of that lust, he hath the law 
of other lusts, but that is predominant — see how it tyranniseth. It takes 
away his rest ; the use of God's blessings ; the good things he hath given 
him to enjoy. It makes him in thrall to the creature. We see it in carnal 
pleasure. Amnon, when he lusted after his sister Tamar, it took away 
his rest, 2 Sam. siii. 2, seq. And how doth this base aifection tyrannise in 
some men ? It makes them forget their bodies so, that they overthrow 
their health and hasten death temporal. It hurts the natural man. It 
makes them forget their credit ; it makes them forget their souls ; it makes 
them stink, by living in that carnal noisome sin. The judicious heathen 
were sensible of it, by the strength of natural judgment ; yet sin where it 
is in any strength uncurbed, it so tA^anniseth, that it makes men forget 
both health and life and credit and estate in this world, that they come to 
nothing. What should I speak of forgetting life eternal and damnation ? 
They have no faith to believe that. But such is the tyranny of sin, that 
it makes them forget things sensible ; that by experience, after they see 
how dearly they have bought their base pleasures, with the loss of credit, 
and health, and comfort ; with the loss of the estate that God hath trusted 
them withal in this world. 

Take a man that is under the base law of ambition, a proud person. See 
how it tyranniseth over^him. It makes him forget blood and kindred, all the 
bonds of nature. He will kill his brethren to make his way ; as you know 
in our own stories, such tyrants. If there were not stories enow in this 
kind, daily experience shews it. Where the law of ambition and pride 
reigns, it makes the heart wherein this tyrant sets up his throne, to forget 
all bonds whatsoever, of nature and justice. You know whose speech it 
was, ' If the law must be violated, it must be for a kingdom' [b). But 
men will do it for far less. We see what men will do for a base place to 
command others in this world, when they are conscious of their own ill 
courses, and commanding corruptions ; and all to give way to the base 
affection of ambition. A touch is enough of these things, for experience 
witnesseth and goes along with me. All men that are not in Christ, they 
have some predominant sin ; either some base sin, or some more refined 
sin and lust, that keeps them from Christ and salvation ; and this tyran- 
niseth over them. 

And this is the nature of this tyrant sin. It hath such possession of a 
man till he be got out of it and be in Christ, that it takes away the sight of 
itself. It hinders the knowledge of itself ; it puts out a man's eyes. For 
that whereby a man should judge of corruption, it is corrupt itself. ' The 
wisdom of a man is death, it is enmity to God,' Rom. viii. 7. The wit that 


he bath that should discern of his base courses, it tangles him more and 
more to his own lusts ; so that wit and wisdom, the highest part of the soul, 
it is imprisoned by base affections ; and that power that should discern cor- 
ruption, it is set on work to satisfy corruption. What is the wit of a man 
that is not in Christ occupied about all his lifetime ? It is nothing but a 
drudge and a slave, to devise means to satisfy his base lusts. Take a 
worldly man : he is exceeding witty to contrive worldly plots and business, 
though he be a dunce and a sot in matters that are spiritual. In his own 
tract and course, he hath a shrewd wit. Why ? Because his lusts to the 
world, they whet his wit. So we see the best thing in man now is en- 
thralled to sin, his very wisdom itself; therefore it is enmity to God. 

Every man hath some Herodias,* some sin or other that he is in bond- 
age to, till he be in Christ. He cannot in a like measm'e be given and 
enthralled to all sins. It is unnecessary ; because one sin serveth another. 
Many sins serve one great one. Corruption doth not run in all streams in 
one equality : but it runs amain one way unchecked and uncontrolled and 
unraortified, in all men that are not in Christ, and subdues the soul to 
itself, that it can devise and plot for nothing, but to satisfy that base lust. 
This is the state of man by nature. 

Ohj. But some will say, it is not our state and condition. We are bap- 
tized, and receive the sacrament, and hear sermons, and read good books ; 
and therefore we are not under sin. 

Ans. But saith the apostle, * His servants ye are to whom ye obey,' Kom. 
vi. 16. You may know the state of your service and subjection, by the 
course of your life. And as Christ saith to the Jews, John viii. 33, they 
bragged that they were free. Alas ! proud people ! They were neither 
free for soul nor state ; for they were under the Romans. They thought 
they were free because they were ' Abraham's children.' Were they not in 
captivity to the Egyptians, and under the Babylonians, and in present 
captivity under the Romans ? Yet they forget themselves out of pride. 
' If the Son make you free, ye are free indeed,' John viii. 36 ; but because 
they were in a sinful course, they were slaves of sin. So it is no matter 
what privileges men are under, that they receive the sacrament, and are 
baptized, and live in the church, &c. ' His servants ye are, whom^ ye obey.' 
If there be prevailing lusts that set up their throne and tyrannise in our 
hearts, and set our wits on work, to devise how to satisfy them more than 
to please God, it is no matter what privileges we have. It is no matter 
whose livery we wear, but whom we serve. We may wear God's livery, 
that shall be pulled over our heads afterward and we be uncased ; that it 
shall appear that we are the devil's servants under the profession of 

There is no man that is not in Christ, that denies his corrupt nature 
anything. If revenge bid him take revenge, he will if he can ; if he do 
not, it is no thanks to him, but to the laws. If any sin rise in the heart, 
all the parts of the body, and powers of the soul, are ready weapons to 
this tyrant to keep a man in slavery. As if anger and wrath keep a man 
in bondage, you shall have it in his countenance ; his hand will be ready 
to execute it"; his feet will be ready to carry him to revenge. If it be a 
proud heart that a man is kept under, you shall have it in his looks and 
expressions outward. If it be the base affection of lust, you shall have 
adultery in the eye ; an unchaste and uncircumcised ear and filthy rotten 
language. Men you see upon all occasions are ready to execute the com- 
* Of. Mat. xiv. 3.— ti. 


mands of these tyrannical lusts, in some kind or other. Therefore never 
talk of thy freedom, when lusts are raised up within thee, either ascending 
from thine own corruption, or cast in by Satan, and so joining with thy 
heart. Presently thy tongue will speak wickedly, and thine eyes, and looks, 
and countenance, shew that there is a naughty heart within ; and the whole 
man is ready to execute it, further than a man is curbed by law, or respect 
to his reputation or the like, which is no thanks to him. Yet a man can- 
not act the part of a civil man so well, but the corruption of his vile heart 
will betray itself in his looks or language. One time or other this tyrant 
will break forth. Therefore let us look to our hearts and courses ; for if 
we be not in Christ, we ai'e under the * law of sin.' 

' And of death.' 

We are not only under the law of sin, but also ' of death.' Now, 1, 
there is a death in this world, the separation of the soul from the body. 
But that is not so much meant here. For when we are in Christ we are 
not free from this death. But there is, 2, a worse death, which is a separa- 
tion of the soul from the favour and love of God, and from the sanctifying 
and comforting Spirit of God. When the Spirit of God doth not comfort 
and sanctify the soul, it is a death. For as the soul is the life of the body, 
the body hath but a communicated life from the union it hath with the 
soul. The soul hath a life of its own, when it is out of the body, but the 
body hath its life from the soul. So it is with the soul.* 

1 . When there is an estranyement of the soul from the Spirit of God and Christ, 
sanctifying, and comforting and cheering it, then there is a death of the soul. 
The soul can no more act anything that is savingly and holily good, than 
the body can be without the soul. And as the body without the soul is a 
noisome odious carcase, oflensive in the eyes of its dearest friends, so the 
soul without the Spirit of Christ quickening and seasoning it, and putting 
a comeliness and beauty upon it, it is odious. All the clothes and ilowers 
you put upon a dead body cannot make it but a stinking carcase ; so all 
the moral vhtues, and all the honours in this world put upon a man out of 
Christ, it makes him not a spiritual living soul ; he is but a loathsome 
carrion, a dead carcase, in the sight of God, and of all that have the Spirit 
of God. For he is under death. He is stark and stiff, unable to stir or 
move to any duty whatsoever. He hath no sense nor motion. Though 
such men live a common natural civil life, and walk up and down, yet they 
are dead men to God and to a better life. The world is full of dead men, 
that are dead while they are alive, as St Paul speaks of the ' widow that 
lives in pleasures,' 1 Tim. v. 6. A fearful estate, if we had spiritual eyes 
to see it and think of it. 

2. But then after the death of the soul in this world, there is another 
degree of spiritual death ; which is, when the soid leaves the hodij. Then the 
soul dies. For then it goes to hell. It is severed for ever from the com- 
fortable and gracious presence of God, and likewise it wants the comforts 
it had in this world. 

3. And the third degree of it is, when body and soul shall bo joined 
together ; then there is an eternal separation of both from the presence of 
God, and an adjudr/iuf/ of them to eternal torments in hell. This is the state 
of all men that are not in Christ. They are dead in soul while they live ; 
dead after the separation of the soul and body, and after to be adjudged to 
eternal damnation, world without end. Life is a sweet thing, and we know 
death it is terrible. When we would set out our hatefulness to anything, 

* lu margin here, ' In this world,' — G. 


vre use to say, ' I hate it as death.' Do we love life, and do we hate death ? 
We should lahour then to be out of that condition that we are all in by- 
nature, wherein we are under sin and death, in regard of spiritual life, I 
mean ; for, for civil life, and government, and policy, men may have life 
and vigour enough, that are hypocrites. But I speak of a better life, an 
eternal life, that is not subject to death. 

Now, mark the joining of both these together. We are under sin and 
death by nature. Where a man is under sin he is under death ; for as . 
the apostle saith, Kom. v. 12, ' Sin entered into the world, and by sin 
death.' They were neither of both God's creatures, neither sin nor death. 
But sin entered into the world by Satan, and death by sin. ' Oh, ye shall 
not die,' saith Satan. He was a har alway from the beginning. So now 
he saith to men, you shall not die ; you maj' do this and do well enough. 
But he is a liar and a murderer. When he solicits to sin he is a murderer. 
Let us take heed of solicitations to sin, from our own nature or from Satan. 
Mark how God hath linked sin and death, ' The wages of sin is death,' 
Rom. vi. 23. When we are tempted to sin, we think, I shall have this 
credit, or profit, or contentment, or preferment, and advancement in the 
world. Ay, but that that you get by sin, it is not so great as you look for, 
when you have it, if you get it at all. But afterwards comes death, the 
beginnings of eternal death, terrors of conscience, universally follow, if a 
man be himself, if he be not besotted. The more a man is a man, and 
enjoys the liberty of his judgment to judge of things, the more he sees the 
misery that is due after sin, with a fearful expectation of worse things to 
come. Sin and death are an adamantine chain and link that none can 
sever. Who shall separate that which God in his justice hath put together ? 
If sin go before, death will follow. If the conception go before, the birth 
will follow after ; if the smoke go before, the fire will follow. There is not 
a more constant order in nature than this in God's appointment : first sin, 
and then death and damnation after. 

Use. Therefore when we are tempted to sin let us reason with ourselves, 
' There is death in the pot,' 2 Kings iv. 40. Let us discern death in it. 
It will follow. And if a man after repent of it, it will be more sharp 
repentance and grievous than the sin was pleasant ; that a man shall have 
little joy of his sin, if he do repent. If he do not repent, what a fearful 
estate is a man in, after he hath sinned ! Sin and death go together. No 
human power can sever them ; for take the greatest monarch in the world, 
when he hath sinned, conscience is above him as great as he is, for con- 
science is next under God. It awes and terrifies him, and keeps his sleep 
from him ; as we see of late in our bloody neighbour country, after that 
gi'eat massacre, he could not sleep without music and the like.* All that 
they have and enjoy in the world, all their greatness, it will not satisfy and 
stop the mouth of conscience ; but when they sin, they feel the wrath of 
God arresting, and they are as it were shut up in prison, under the terrors 
of an accusing conscience, till they come to eternal imprisonment in the 
chains of hell and damnation. This is the estate of the greatest man in 
the world that is not in Christ. They are not so happy as we think they 
are. They are imprisoned in their own hearts, though they walk at never 
so much liberty abroad, and do what they list ; for sin and death goes 
together, and before eternal death comes, the expectation and terrors of it 
seize on them for the present. So that whatsoever our first birth be, 
though it be noble and great, yet by it we are bond- slaves under sin and 
* Cf. Vol. I. p. 149. -G. 


death, unless our second birth, our new birth, make amends for sin, for 
the baseness of our first birth. This prerogative, our spiritual nobleness, 
is such an estate ■wherein we are not born, but are born again to it, ' to an 
inheritance immortal,' &c., 1 Peter i. 4. But by nature w-e are all bond- 
men, though we'be born never so nobi}'. Therefore let us never brag of 
our birth, as the Jews did, that they were the children of Abraham. No, 
saith Christ, you are of your father the devil, John viii. 44. Let none 
stand upon the gentry and nobility of their birth, unless they be taken out 
of the condition they are in by nature, to be in a bettej condition in Christ; 
for we see all men naturally are under the law of sin and death. 

These things are slighted, because we enjoy ' the pleasures of sin for a 
season,' Heb. xi. 25. Men think to be enthralled to sin, it is pleasant 
thraldom, they are golden fetters ; for I shall have the pleasures of sin all 
my lifetime, &c. ; and for death, I will set a Roman spirit against death. 
Saith a Roman, What ! is it such a matter to die ? It is nothing to die (c). 
They set a good face on the matter. And this is the conceit of many men 
till they come to it. But, alas ! to be enthralled iib death, it is another 
matter, for behind death there is a gulf. A man may break the hedge 
well enough with a strong resolution to die ; it is nothing to die if there 
were an end. But there is a gulf, there is damnation and destruction 
behind ; there is eternal torment behind ; to be adjudged from the presence 
of God for ever : to be separated from all good and all comfort, and to have 
society with the devil and his angels in hell, and that for ever and for ever. 
Thou mayest, perhaps, make slight of the service of sin, because thou hast 
the present baits to delight thee, but thou shouldst regard death. Thou 
mayest neglect death, but then regard eternal death. "This word ' eternal' 
it is a heavy word, ' eternal ' separation from all good ; and eternal com- 
munion with the devil and his angels ; and for the wrath of God to seize 
on thy soul eternally, world without end. Methinks men should not set 
light by that. Therefore considering that this is our estate by nature, — we 
are all slaves to sin and death, — let us labour to get out of this cursed 
estate by all means, which is by 

' The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.' 

Now, I come to speak of our freedom : ' The law of the Spirit of life in 
Christ Jesus hath, freed me from the law of sin and death.' This is good 
news indeed, to hear of freedom : good news to the Israelites to hear of 
freedom out of Egypt, and for the Jews to hear of Cyrus's proclamation for 
their freedom out of Babylon. Freedom out of bondage is a sweet message. 
Here we have such a message of spiritual freedom, from other manner of 
enemies than those were. The year of jubilee, it was a comfortable year 
to servants that were kept in and were much vexed with their bondage. 
When the year of jubilee came they were all freed. Therefore there was 
great expectation of the year of jubilee. Here we have a spiritual jubilee : 
a manumission and freedom from the bondage we are in by nature. ' The 
Spirit of life in Christ makes us free from the law of sin and death.' There 
is life in Christ, opposite to death in us. There is a Spirit of life in Christ 
and a law of the Spirit of life in Christ, opposite to the law of sin and 
of death in us. So that this is our happiness while we live here (Oh, it 
is the blessedness of men to make use of it while they have time and space 
and grace to repent, and to cleave to Christ), that whatsoever ill we are 
under by nature, we may have full supply in Christ for all the breaches 
that came by the first Adam. There came the wrath of God, the corrup- 
tion of our nature, terrors of conscience, death and damnation. All these 


followed tlie sin and breach of the first Adam. All these are made up in 
the second. He hath freed us from all the ill we received from the first 
Adam, and that we have added ourselves ; for we make ourselves worse than 
we come from Adam by our voluntary and daily transgressions. But we 
are freed from all by the ' law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.' 
How comes this freedom ? 

1. There can no freedom be without satisfaction to divine justice. For 
why are we under sin ? God gives us up to sin. Why are we under death ? 
God gives us up to death. Why are we under Satan's government ? Ho 
is God's executioner, God's Serjeant. He gives us up to him here because 
we offend him. Why are we under damnation and wrath ? Because God 
is offended. All our slavery comes originally from God. However it be 
sinful in regard of Satan that keeps us, yet the power whereby he keeps us 
is good, for he doth it from God. His will is always naught, but his power 
is always lawful. Therefore the power whereby the devil keeps us, if we 
look up to God under whom the power is, it is a lawful power ; for God 
hath a hand in giving us up to sin : it is a judicial giving up, and then by 
lusts and sin, to Satan and death and damnation. So if we speak of free- 
dom, we must not begin with the executioner : the wrath of God must be 
satisfied. God must be one with us, so as his justice must have content- 
ment. Satisfaction must be with the glory of his justice, as well as of his 
mercy. His attributes must have full content. One must not be destroyed 
to satisfy another. He must so be merciful in freeing us as that content 
must be given to his justice, that it complain not of any loss. Now, recon- 
ciliation alway supposeth satisfaction. It is founded upon it. 

2. And satisfaction for sin, it must be in that nature that hath sinned. Now 
man of himself could not satisfy divine justice, being a finite person ; there- 
fore God the second person became man, that in our nature he might 
satisfy God's wrath for us, and so free us by giving payment to his divine 
justice. The death of Christ, God-man, is the price of our liberty and 

But why doth the apostle speak here of ' a law of the Spirit of life in 
Christ ' which frees us ? But here is no mention of satisfaction bj^ death. 

Oh, but death is the foundation of all, as we shall see afterwards. To 
unfold the point, therefore, because it is a special point, and the words need 

Here it is said there is life in Christ. 

* A Spirit of life,' and a law of the Spirit of life in Christ. 

1. There is life hi Christ, not only as God, for so indeed he is life. 
God his life is himself ; for life is the being of a thing, and the actions and 
moving and vigour and operations of a thing answerable to that being. So 
the life of God is his being : ' As I live, saith the Lord ;' that is, ' As I am 
God, I will not the death of a sinner,' Ezek. xviii. 32. Now, Christ hath 
life in him as God, as the Father hath. But that is not especially here 

2. There is life in Christ as God-man, as mediator. Now, this life is 
that life which is originally from the Godhead. Indeed, it is but the God- 
head's quickening and giving life to the manhood in Christ ; the Spirit 
quickening and sanctifying the manhood. And we have no comfort by the 
life of God, as it is in God's life alone severed ; for, alas ! what communion 
have we with God without a mediator '? But our comfort is this, that God, 
who is the fountain of life, he became man, and having satisfied God's 

justice, he conveys life to us. He is our head ; he hath life in himself as 


God, to impart spiritual life to all his members ; so there is life in Christ as 

And there is a Spirit of life. That life it is a working life, for spirit is 
an emphatical word. Spirit added to a thing increased the thing. Again, 
he saith, ' The law of the Spirit of life.' Law is a commanding thing. To 
shew that the life in Christ is a commanding life, it countermands all 
opposite lives whatsoever, of sin and death ; and this law is a countermand 
to all other laws. ' The law of the Spirit of life ' frees us from all other 
laws. So here is life, the Spirit of life, and the law of the Spirit of life — all 
words of strong signification. 

But for the clear understanding of this sweet and comfortable point, first, 
consider how the law of the Spirit of life is in Christ, what it doth in him, 
and then how it is derivatively in us. 

First of all. We must know this for a ground, whatsoever is done to us 
IS done to Christ first ; and whatsoever we have, Christ hath it first. There- 
fore life is first in Christ, and then in us ; resurrection fii'st in Christ, and 
then in us ; sonship first in Christ, and then in us ; justification from 
our sins first in Christ — he is freed from our sins — and then in us ; 
ascension first in Christ, and then in us ; glory in heaven first in Christ, 
and then in us. We have nothing in us, but it is derived from Christ. 
Therefore, this being laid as a ground, we must consider how the Spirit of 
life works in Christ, what it doth in Christ, and then what it doth as it is 
in us ; for whatsoever Christ hath, it is not only for himself, but for us. 

What doth it in Christ ? 

1. The Spirit of life in Christ, first of all, it did quicken and sancfifij 
his human nature. That nature that Christ pleased to take upon him 
it stopped sin, it made a stop of original sin, in sanctifying that blessed 
mass out of which his body was made. For the foundation of his obedience 
actual, that it was so holy, it was hence that his nature was purified by the 
Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin. The foundation that his death and 
sufi'erings was satisfactory and acceptable, it was that his holy nature was 
sanctified by the Spirit of God. So the first work of the Spirit of life in the 
Son of God, it was to sanctify and quicken that blessed mass that he took 
upon him. 

2. And the Spirit of life that quickened and sanctified our nature in 
Christ did likewise ennoble our nature ; for even as a base woman is en- 
nobled when she is taken in marriage with a great man, — she hath his dignity 
accounted hers — so our nature, by the Spirit being sanctified, is knit into 
the union of person with Christ, that our nature and the second person 
make one Christ. So our nature by the Spirit is ennobled by this union. 

3. Also enriched it irith all ffrace that our nature is capable of ; for the 
nature of Christ bad this double prerogative above ours : first of all, that 
blessed mass of flesh, it was knit to be one person with God ; and then, 
that nature was enriched and ennobled with all graces above ours. And 
this the Spirit of life did to Christ himself, to his human nature that he 
took upon him, that he might be a public person. For God, the second 
person, took not upon him any man's particular person, of Peter, or Paul, 
or John, for then there should have been distinct persons, one person 
should have died, and another rise ; but he took our nature into his person. 
So that the same person that did die was God, though he died in our nature, 
that he might be a public person. So we must consider Christ sanctifying 
our nature, that he might fit and sanctify all our persons. 


But did the Spirit of life do nothing else but sanctify and enrich the 
human nature of Christ with grace ? 

4. Yes. For the Spirit of life in Christ did sanctify him /or his sacrifice, 
as he saith, John xvii. 19, in that blessed prayer, ' I sanctify myself for 
them.' It prepared him for his death, and made him a fit sacrifice. When 
he entered upon his calling, he had more of the Spirit : the Spirit of life, 
as it were, was increased. For it is no heresy to think, that the gifts of 
Christ, for the manifestation of them, were increased. For in every state 
he was in, he was perfect ; and when he set upon his office, and was bap- 
tized, he was fuller of the Holy Ghost : as it were, there was a fuller mani- 
festation than before, when he did not set upon his office openly. 

5. In his death, what did the Spirit of life then ? It supported him in his 
ven/ death ; for there was an union of the Spirit. When there was a sepa- 
ration of his soul and body, there was not a separation of the union. That 
which gave dignity, and strength, and value, and worth to his death, it was 
the Spirit. Though there was a suspending of the comfort a while, yet 
there w'as no separation of the union. But I speak no more of that, being 
not especially meant here. 

6. But especially in his resurrection (which we are now to think of by 
reason of the day, and it is not amiss to take all occasions), especially then, 
the Spirit of life that had sanctified Christ, and quickened him, and enriched 
his nature, and supported him, and done all, that Spirit of life quickened 
the dead body of Christ. ' And he was mightily declared to be the Son of 
God by the Spirit of sanctification, by his resurrection from the dead,' Rom. 
i. 4. The Spirit of life raised him from the dead, and put an end to all 
that misery that he had undergone before for our sakes. For until his 
resurrection, there was, as it were, some conflict with some enemies of 
Christ, either with Satan, or the world, or with death itself. He lay under 
death three days. Until Christ's body was raised, our enemies were not 
overcome. God's wrath was not fully satisfied. It was not declared to be 
satisfied at least. For he being our surety, till he came out of the grave, 
we could not know that our sins were satisfied for. But now, when the 
Spirit of life in Christ comes, and quickens that body of his in the grave, 
and so doth justify us, as it is, Eom. iv. 25, ' He died for our sins, and 
rose again for our justification : ' that is, by the Spirit of life in Christ 
quickening his dead body, he declared that we are fully discharged from 
our sins, because he was fully discharged from our sins ; being our surety, 
he shewed by his resurrection that he was fully discharged from all that he 
took upon him. When a man comes out of prison that is a surety, his 
very coming out of prison shews that he hath a full discharge of all the 
debt he undertook to pay. So the Spirit of life, raising Christ's body the 
third day, manifestly declared that the debt he took on him was fully dis- 
charged. And so as he died for sin, to satisfy God's justice for them, so he 
rose again for our justification, to shew that he had a full discharge for all. 

Now, since the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath quickened his body, 
the soul may make a bold demand to God, as it is in 1 Pet. iii. 16. It 
may make that demand, Rom. viii. 33, ' Who shall lay anything to the 
charge of God's elect ? It is Christ that died, nay rather, that is risen 
again,' and ascended into heaven, and makes intercession for us. ' Who 
shall lay anything to the charge of God's people ? it is God that justifieth, 
who shall condemn ? ' Our sins ? Christ hath taken our sins upon him, 
and satisfied divine justice for them ; and by the Spirit of life hath quick- 
ened that dead body of his, that was surety for us himself. We may well 


say, ' "Who sliall lay anything to our charge ? ' He that is our surety is 
dead. Dead ? Nay, risen again ; nay, ascended, and sits at the right 
hand of God. Therefore now the conscience of any Christian may make 
that interrogation and bold demand there. It may stand out any that dares 
to oppose the peace of his conscience, now that he may say, Who is it ? 
It is God-man that died. It is Christ that died in our nature, and hath 
raised that nature of ours again, and is at the right hand of God. Who 
shall lay anything to our charge ? The Spirit of life in Christ, quickening 
him, hath quickened us together with him ; so that now we may boldly 
demand we are freed from our sins, because our Surety is freed from all. 

All this was for our good. What Christ did, it was not for himself, but 
for us. And in his birth, and life, and death, and resurrection, we must 
consider him as a public person, and so go along with all that he did as a 
public person. Whatsoever may be terrible to us, we must look upon it 
first in Christ. If we look upon the corruption and defilement in our nature, 
look upon the pure nature of Christ, His nature was sanctified in his birth, 
and he is a public person : therefore this is for me ; and though I be defiled 
in my own nature, and carry the remainders of corruption about me, yet 
the Spirit of life in Christ sanctified his nature, and there is more sanctity 
in him than there can be sin in me. When we look upon our sins, let us 
not so much look upon them in our consciences, as in our surety, Christ. 
When we look upon death, look not upon it in ourselves, in its own visage, 
but as it is in Christ, undergone and conquered : for the power of the Spirit 
of life in Christ overcame death, in himself first, and for us, and will over- 
come in us in time. When the wrath of God is on our consciences, look 
not upon it as it is in ourselves, but as undergone by Christ, and as Christ, 
by the Spirit of life now in him, is raised up, not from death alone, but 
from all terrors. ' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? ' See 
Christ, by the Spirit of life, quickened from all ; not[only bare natural death, 
but from all enemies thou needest to fear. From the law : it is nailed to 
his cross ; he now triumphs over it ; and from sin : he was a sacrifice for 
it ; and from the wrath of God : he hath satisfied it, or else he had not 
come out of his grave. So whatsoever is terrible, look on it in Christ first, 
and see a full discharge of all that may affright thy conscience, and trouble 
thy peace any way. See him in his death, dying for every man that will 
believe. Consider him in his resurrection as a public person, not rising 
himself alone, but for all us. Therefore in 1 Pet. i. 3, there is an exeellent 
place, ' Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath 
begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, to an 
inheritance immortal, undefiled,' &c. ; and so go along with him to his 
ascension, and see ourselves ' sitting with him in heavenly places,' as St 
Paul speaks, Eph. ii. 6. Oh this is a sweet meditation of Christ ! to see 
ourselves in him, in all the passages of his birth, and life, and death, and 
resurrection, and ascension to glory in heaven ; for all that he did was as 
a public person, as the second Adam. But now, before the Spirit of life in 
Christ come to free me, I and Christ must be one ; there must be a union 
between me and Christ ; I must be a member of Christ mystical. For as 
Christ quickened his own body, every joint when it was dead, because it was 
his body, so he quickens his mystical body, every member of it. But I 
must be a member first ; I must not be myself severed from Christ. There- 
fore, the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ, the first thing it doth 
(next to impetration* and obtaining of happiness), it works application : 
* That is, = procuring by prayer, entreaty, or request. — G. 


for these two go together, impetration and application. Christ by his death 
obtained all good, and by his resurrection he declared it ; but there must 
be an application to me. Now this Spirit of life which is in Christ, which 
quickened him and raised him up, and all for my good, must apply this 
to me. 

The grace of application it is faith. Therefore this must be wrought in 
the next place. How doth the law of the Spirit of life free me ? Because 
first it freed Christ, therefore me. But that is not enough, except there 
be application. Therefore the law of the Spirit of life works faith in me, 
to knit me to Christ, to make me believe, that all that he hath done is 
mine ; and the same power that raised Christ from the dead, works the 
power of faith and application. For we must not think that it is an easy 
thing for a carnal man to believe, to go out of himself, that it is salvation 
enough to have salvation, by the obedience of another man. No. Both 
in the Ephesians and Colossians, in divers places, it is St Paul's phrase, 
that the same power ' that raised Christ from the dead,' must raise our 
hearts, and work faith in them.* For as the good things that faith lays 
hold on are wondrous good things, even above admiration almost ; that 
poor flesh and blood, a piece of earth, should be an heir of heaven, a mem- 
ber of Christ; that it should be above angels in dignity : as the things are 
super- excellent things, even above admiration in a manner, so the grace that 
believes these things, it is a strange and excellent, and admirable grace, 
that is faith. Therefore faith must be wrought by the law of the Spirit of 
Christ ; by the ministry of the gospel. This is the grace of application, 
when a man goes out of himself ; when he sees himself first in bondage to 
his corruptions, to Satan, and to death ; and then sees the excellent way 
that God hath wrought in Christ to bring him out of that cursed estate ; 
then he hath by the Spirit faith wrought in him. And indeed the same 
power and Spirit that quickened Christ from the dead, must quicken our 
hearts to believe in Christ. It is a miracle to bring the heart of man to 
believe. We think it an easy matter to believe. Indeed, it is an easy 
matter to presume, to have a conceit, but for the soul in the time of temp- 
tation, and in the hour of death, for the guilty soul to go out of itself, 
and cast itself upon the mercy of God, who is justly offended, and to believe 
that the obedience of Christ is mine, as verily as if I had obeyed myself, 
here must be a strong sanctified judgment and a might}' power to raise the 
soul, to cast itself so upon God's mercy in Christ. So that besides the 
obtaining salvation by Christ, there must be a grace to apply it ; and this 
faith doth. 

Faith is said to do that that Christ doth, because faith lays hold upon 
Christ. "What faith doth, Christ doth ; and what Christ doth, faith doth. 
Therefore it hath the same actions applied and given to it that Christ 
hath. Faith is said to save us. You know it is Christ that saves us. But 
faith lays hold on Christ that saves us. Faith purgeth the heart, and 
overcomes the world. Christ by his Spirit doth all this. Because faith 
wrought by the Spirit is such a grace as lays hold on the power of Christ, 
it goes out of itself to Christ, therefore what Christ doth, faith is said to do. 
So then the law of the Spirit of life in Christ not only freed Christ himself 
by his resm-rection, but likewise by the same power whereby he raised him- 
self, he raiseth our hearts to believe what he hath done, both in his state 
of humiliation and exaltation, and makes all that Christ did ours. 

The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, working faith in us, and by faith other 
* Cf. Ephesians ii. 6, and Colossians ii. 12. — G. 

VOL. V. Q 


graces, doth free us from the hiw of sin and death. Christ doth it, and 
faith doth it, and grace, which issues from faith, doth it suhordinately. 
Christ doth it hy way of merit ; and by his Spirit working faith in us, to 
lay hold upon whatsoever Christ hath done or sufiered, as if we had done 
it ourselves. So it frees us from the law of sin and death, because it 
lays hold of the freedom w-rought by Christ for us. But besides, and 
next to faith, there is a Spirit of sanctification, by which we are free 
from the commanding law of sin and death. But to clear all this, con- 
sider there is a freedom in this life, and in the life to come from sin and 
from death. 

1. A freedom in this life, in calling, in justification, in sanctification ; and 
in the life to come a freedom of glory. 

1. There is a freedom in effectual calling, by the ministr^'^ of the gospel. 
The gospel being preached and unfolded, faith is wrought, whereby we 
know what Christ hath done for us ; and we see a better condition in 
Christ than we are in by nature. Seeing by the Spirit of God the cursed 
estate we are in, we are convinced of sin in ourselves, and of the good that 
is in Christ ; and hereupon we are called out of the thraldom we are in by 
nature, by the Spirit of Christ and the word of God, unfolding what our 
condition is ; for man by nature having self-love in him, and that self-love 
being turned the right way, he begins to think, Ay, doth the word of God 
say I am a slave to sin and damnation ? The word of God can judge 
better than myself ; and then the Spirit of God sets it on with conviction, 
that undoubtedly this is true. And together with the cursed kingdom and 
slavery that I am under, there is discovered a better estate in Christ ; for 
the gospel tells us what we are in Christ ; freed from hell and death, and 
heirs of heaven. Oh the happy estate of a Christian to be in Christ ! 
The gospel, M'ith the Spirit discovering this, a man is called out of the 
cursed estate he is in by nature to the fellowship of Christ by faith, which 
is wrought in this calling. So that now he comes to be a member of 
Christ b}^ faith. So that whatsoever Christ hath, or is, or hath done or 
sufiered, it is mine by reason of this union with him by faith, which is the 
grace of union that knits us to Christ, and the first grace of application. 
Ho there is the first degree of liberty and freedom wrought by the Spirit of 
God, together with the gospel in efi'ectual calling. 

2. The second is in justification. That faith and belief in Christ that 
was wrought in efi'ectual calling, it frees me from the guilt of my sins. 
For when the gospel, in efiectual calling, discovers that Christ is such a one, 
and that there is such an estate in Christ, and there is fiiith wrought in 
me, then that faith lays hold upon the obedience of Christ to be mine. 
For Christ in the gospel offers his obedience to be mine, as if I had done 
it in mine own person. Whatsoever Christ did or sufiered is mine ; for 
he is made of God to be ' wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemp- 
tion,' 1 Cor. i. 30, to be all in all. The gospel sets him forth to be so. 
Now faith laying hold of Christ, to be made of God all in all, obedience, 
righteousness, &c., whatsoever is needful, hereupon this faith justifies me; 
hereupon I come to be free from the guilt of my sins, because my sins 
were laid upon Christ. Christ's death was the death of a surety. It was 
as if I had died myself, and more firm. Thus I come to be free in justifi- 
cation ; for what my surety hath done I have done. 

' 3. Again, There is a freedom in sanctification ; that is, when a man believes 
that Christ is his, and that his sufferings are his, then the same Spirit that 
discovers this to be mine, it works a change and alteration in my nature, 



and frees me from the dominion of sin. The ohedicnco of Christ frees me 
from the condemnation of sin, and the Spirit of sanctification frees me from 
the dominion of sin. Tliis is the freedom of sanctiiication, which faith hiys 
hold on. ' Whosoever hath not the Spirit of Christ is none of his,' Rom. 
viii. 9. Christ as a head derives* to me the Holy Spirit to sanctify my 
nature ; and ' of his fulness we receive grace for grace,' John i. IG. So 
the Spirit of sauctihcation in Christ frees me from the dominion of sin and 

It is said here, that by Christ we have spiritual liberty and freedom, not 
from sin and death, but from the law of sin and of death. It is one thing 
to be freed from sin and death, and another thing to be freed from the law 
of them ; for we are not indeed freed from sin and death, but from the law 
of sin and death, that is, from the coudemniug power of sin ; that though 
sin be in us yet it doth not condemn us ; and though we die, yet the sting 
is pulled out. Death is but a passage to a bettor life. So I say in justi- 
lication, we are freed from the condemning power of sin ; and in sanctifi- 
cation, from the commanding power of sin. When we are knit once to 
Christ, we have the obedience of Christ, ours in justification ; and the 
holiness of Christ is derived to us, as from the head to the members in 
sanctification ; and so we are freed from the law of sin. To understand 
this a little better, the same Spirit that sanctified the natural body, the 
human nature of Christ, whereby he ' became bone of our bone, and flesh 
of our flesh,' Eph. v. 30 : the same Spirit doth sauctify the mystical body 
of Christ, that it may be * bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh.' For 
before we come to heaven, Christ must not only ' be bone of our bone,' 
&c., that is, in his incarnation, but we mast be ' bone of his bone,' &c. ; 
that is, we must have natures like Christ, not only flesh and blood — for 
so a reprobate hath flesh and blood, as Christ hath — but we must have his 
Spirit altering and changing our nature : that instead of a proud, disobe- 
dient, rebellious nature, now it must be a holy and humble and meek 
nature, together with human frailty, for that we carry about with us. 
Then the Spirit of life derived from Christ makes us ' bone of his bone.' 
For indeed, in his human nature being ' bone of our bone and flesh of 
our flesh,' he made us ' bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.' He 
became man that we might partake of the divine nature, being partakers of 
the divine Spirit. So that now the Spirit of life in Christ, when we are 
knit to him, is a Spirit of sanctification, altering our natures and working 
in our hearts a disposition like Christ's : that we judge as Christ judgeth, 
and choose as Christ chooseth, and aim at God's glory as Christ did ; for 
there is ' the same mind in us that was in Christ,' Philip, ii. 5 — in our 
proportion, growing still more and more to conformity with Christ, till we 
be in heaven, till ' Christ be all in all,' 1 Cor. xv. 28, when he will change 
our nature to be holy as his own. 

II. Besides this liberty from sin and death in this life, there is a glorious 
liberty and freedom that we have by the Spirit of Christ when we are dead ; 
for then the Spirit of life that raised Christ's dead body will raise our 
bodies ; and that Spirit of Christ that raiseth his body and raiseth our 
souls in this world from sin to believe in him, will raise our dead bodies. 
The same virtue and power that works in Christ works in his members. 
This is called * the glorious liberty of the sous of God.' Then we shall be 
freed indeed, not only from the law of sin, but from sin itself; and not only 
from the law of death, but death itself; and we ' shall live for ever with 
* That is, ' communicates.' — G. 


the Lord,' 1 Thess. iv. 17. Christ then ' shall be all in all by his Spirit.' 
Christ will never leave us till he have brought us to that glorious freedom. 
We are freed already from sin and death. He hath * set us in heavenly 
places together with himself now, Eph. i. 3. In faith we are there already : 
but then we shall be indeed. Thus you see how we come to have the law 
of the Spirit of life in Christ, to free us from the law of sin and death, and 
all the passages of it. 

Use. You see here that there is law against law — the law of the Spirit 
of life in Christ against the law of sin and death. I beseech you, consider 
that God hath appointed law to countermand law ; the Spirit of Christ to 
overcome sin in us, not only in justification but in sanctification. Oh let 
us therefore comfortably think there is a law above this law. I have now 
cold, dead, base afiections ; but if I have the Spirit of iChrist, he can 
quicken and enliven me. He will not only pardon my sin, but by the law 
of his Spirit direct, guide, and command me a contrary way to mj' lusts. 
And this is an art of spiritual prudence in heavenly things, whensoever we 
are beset with dangers, to set greater than that against it. The devil is an 
angel ; but we have a guard of angels about us. The devil is a serpent ; 
but we have a brazen serpent that cures all the stings of that serpent. We 
have principalities and powers against, but we have greater principalities 
and powers for us : the law of life against the law of sin and death. We 
have a law of our lusts tyrannizing over us and enthralling us. It is true. 
But then there is a law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, to overcome 
and subdue that law of our lusts, if so be that we use the prerogatives we 
have, if we use faith and go to God and Christ, in whom are all the trea- 
sures of gi'ace. He is the treasury of the church : ' Of his fulness we 
receive grace for grace,' John i. 16. Ai'e we troubled with any corruptions ? 
Go to the Spirit of liberty in Christ, and desire him to set us at liberty from 
the bondage and thraldom of our corruptions. And remember what Christ 
hath done for us, and where he is now, in heaven. Let us raise our 
tlioughts that we may see ourselves in heaven already ; that we may be 
ashamed to defile our bodies and souls with the base drudger}' of sin and 
Satan, that are sanctified in part in this world, and shall be glorified in 
heaven. Certainly faith would raise our souls so. We betray ourselves, 
when, being once in the state of grace, we are enthralled basely to any sin. 
' For sin shall not have dominion over you, because you are under grace,' 
saith the apostle, Rom. vi. 14. Being under grace, if we do but use our 
reasoning and use faith and exercise the gi-ace we have given us, we cannot 
be in thrall to corruptions. We shall have remainders to trouble us, but 
not to rule, and reign, and domineer. For sin never bears sway, but when 
we betray ourselves, and either believe not what Christ hath done for us, 
or else exercise not our faith. A Christian is never overtaken basel}^, but 
when he neglects his privileges and prerogatives, and doth not stii" up the 
grace of God in him. 

Learn this then, when we are troubled with anything, set law against 
law : set the law of the Spirit of life in Christ against all oppositions what- 
soever ; and let the temptation lie where it will. 

1. Let it lie in justification, os uJien tve are tempted by Satan to despair 
for sins, for great sins. Oh, but then consider, the law of the Spirit of life 
in Christ hath ' freed me from the law of sin and of death.' Christ was 
made sin, to free me from sin. Consider that Christ was God-man. He 
satisfied divine justice. * The blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin,* 
1 John i. 7, ' though they be as red as crimson,' Isa. i. 18. Thus set 



Christ against our sins in justification, when the guilt of them troubles our 

2. And so likewise, when ice are set on by base lusts, set against them the 
power of Christ in sanctification. What am I now ? A member of Christ ; 
one that professeth myself to be an heir of heaven. There is a Spirit of life 
in Christ my head. There is a law of the Spirit of life in Christ; that is, 
there is a commanding power in his Spirit ; and that Spirit of his is not 
only in the head, but in the members. If I go to him for grace, I may 
have grace, answerable to the grace that is in him, grace that will strengthen 
me with his power. ' Be strong in the Loi-d, and in the power of his might,' 
Eph. vi. 10, and in * Christ I can do all things,' Philip, iv. 13, by his 
Spirit, though in myself I can do nothing. 

3. And so in deadness and desolation of spirit, when the soul is cast down 
with discomfort, let us think with ourselves, the Spirit of life in Christ is 
a quickening Spirit. If I can believe in Christ, he hath freed me from the 
guilt of sin ; and he hath by his Spirit given me some little enlargement 
from the dominion of my corruptions : why should I be cast down ? I am 
an heir of heaven. Ere long Satan shall ' be trodden under my feet,' Luke 
X. 19. Ere long I shall be free from the spiritual combat and conflict with 
sin, that I am now encountered with. Therefore I "will comfort myself; I 
will not be cast down overmuch. 

4. In the hour of death, let us make use of this freedom of the Spirit of 
life in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. When the time comes 
that there must be a separation of soul and body, Oh let us think with our 
ourselves : Now I must die, yet Christ hath died ; and I must die in con- 
formity to my head ; and here is my comfort — ' The law of the Spirit of 
life hath freed me from the law of death.' It hath freed me from spiritual 
and eternal death. So that now through Christ death is become friendly to 
me. Death now is not the death of me, but death will be the death of my 
misery, the death of my sins ; it will be the death of my corruptions. Death 
now will be the death of all that before troubled me. But death will be 
my birthday in regard of happiness. ' Better is the day of death than the 
day of birth,' Eccles. vii. 1. When a man comes into this life he comes 
into misery ; but when he dies, he goes out of misery and comes to hap- 
piness. So that, indeed, we never live till we die ; we never live eternally 
and happily till then. For then we are freed from all misery and sin. 
' Blessed are they that die in the Lord ; they rest from their labours,' Rev. 
xiv. 13. ', They rest from their labours of toil and misery; they rest from 
the labours of sin, from all labours whatsoever. ' Blessed are they that 
die in the Lord,' and of all times then blessed, more blessed than before. 
They rest from their labours, and then begins their happiness that shall 
never end. So you see what comfort a Christian's soul sprinkled with the 
blood of Christ may have, if it go to God in Christ, and beg of Christ to 
be set at liberty from all enemies, to serve God in holiness and right- 

I speak too meanly when I say, the law of the Spirit of life hath freed us 
from sin and death. This is not all. The Spirit of life not only frees us 
from ill, but advanceth us to the contrary good in every thing wherein this 
freedom is. For we are not only called out of misery, but to a kingdom. 
We are not only freed from sin, but entitled to heaven in justification ; and 
in sanctification we are not only freed from corruption, but enabled by the 
Holy Spirit of liberty to run the ^Yays of God's commandments, and make 
them voluntary ; to serve God cheerfully, ' zealous of good works,' Titus 


ii. 14. We are not only freed from the command and condemnation of 
sin, and the rigour of the hxw, but we have contrary dispositions, ready and 
willing, and voluntary dispositions, wrought by the Spirit of Christ, to every 
thing that is good. And so we arc not only free from death and misery 
(for so things without life are, they suffer no misery), but we are partakers 
of everlasting life and glorv, the liberty of glory. God's benefits arc com- 
plete ; that is, not only privative, freeing us from ill, but positive, implying 
all good ; because God will shew himself a God : he will do good things as 
a God, fully. For the law of the Spirit of life not only frees us from the 
law of sin and of death, but ' writes the law of God in our hearts.' He not 
only frees us from the law of death, but advanceth us to everlasting life, 
to the glorious life w^c have in heaven, ' to live for ever w-ith the Lord,' 
1 Thes. iv. 17. Oh happy condition of a Christian, if we could know our 
happiness ! 

Let us often meditate deeply of Christ, and of ourselves in him ; let us 
see all our ill in him, and all our good in him : see death overcome, and 
sin overcome by his death, he being ' made a curse for us,' Gal. iii. 13 : 
see the law overcome, he being ' made under the law for us,' Gal. iv. 4, 5. 
When the wrath of God vexeth and terrifieth us, see it upon him. ' He 
sweat water and blood in the garden,' Luke xxii. 44. It made him cry 
out, ' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?' Mark xv. 34. See 
all that may trouble us in him, as our surety. And all the good we hope 
for, see it in Christ first. Whatsoever he hath in his natural body, it is 
for his mystical body ; for he gave his natural body for his mystical. God 
in the world, to humble us, exerciseth us with troubles and calamities, as 
he did Christ. We must be conformable to our head. But consider, the 
poison and sting of all ills we need to fear is swallowed up and taken away 
by Christ. And, as I said, let us see all our good in him. We are sons 
in him, raised in him, blessed in him, * set in heavenly places with him,' 
Eph. i. 3, and shall be fellow-heirs and kings with him; for we are his 
members, his spouse. The wife shall enjoy the same condition as the 
husband ; whatsoever he hath she shall have. What a comfortable estate 
is this ! We can fear no ill, nor want no good. Whatsoever he hath, it 
is for us. He was born for us. He died for us. He is gone to heaven 
for us ; for us and our good. He did and suffered all these things. We 
cannot exercise our thoughts too much in these meditations. 

The Lord's supper is a sacrament of union and communion. Hence it 
hath its name ; and by receiving the sacrament, our communion and union 
with Christ is strengthened. What a comfort then is it to think, if I have 
fellowship with Christ it is sealed by the sacrament ! When I take the 
bread and wine, at the same time I have communion with the body and 
blood of Christ shed for my sins ; and as Christ himself was freed from my 
sins imputed to him, and by his resurrection declared that he was freed, so 
surely shall I be freed from my sins. So that this communion, taking the 
bread and wine, it seals to us our communion and fellowship with Christ, 
and thereupon our freedom from sin and from the law, and sets us in a 
blessed and happy estate. We should labour therefore by all means to 
strengthen our union and communion with Christ ; and amongst the rest, 
reverently and carefully attend upon this blessed ordinance of God, for the 
body of Christ broken doth quicken us, because it is the body of the Son 
of God. ' My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed,' John 
vi. 55. And he calls his body broken 'the bread of life.' Why? Because 
it was the body of the Son of God, 'who is life,' John vi. 35. All life 


comes from God. Now, Christ taking our nature upon him, his death is a 
quickening death, and by reason of the union with the divine nature, now 
it is the body of God broken and the blood of God shed for us. There is 
our comfort ; and he was declared to be so by his resurrection, that de- 
clared that he' was God, and that he was freed from our sins. Powerful 
must that Saviour needs bo that was so strong in his very death, when his 
very body was broken and his blood let out. Then he did work the foun- 
dation of all comfort, for then he satisfied the wrath of God. Christ was 
strongest when ho was weakest. The resurrection was but a declaration of 
the worth of that he had done. Now, in the sacrament we have com- 
munion with Christ dying, especially as his body is broken and his blood 
shed, for that is the foundiition of all comfort by his resurrection. And 
because the Spirit of life was in Christ, and did quicken his body while he 
was alive, and was a Spirit of life even when he died, and gave worth and 
excellency to his death, therefore, when we take the communion, we ought 
not to meditate merely of the death of Christ, as his blood was shed and 
his body broken, but of the death of such a person as had the Spirit of life in 
him, as was God and man. And so set the excellency of his person against 
all temptations whatsoever. Set the excellency of Christ so abased, his 
body broken and his blood shed, against all temptations. If it be the 
greatest, the wrath of God upon the conscience, yet when conscience thinks 
this, God, the party offended, gave his own Son to be incarnate, and the 
Spirit of life in him did quicken man's nature, and in that nature did die for 
satisfiictiou, now God will be satisfied by the death of such a surety as his own 
Son. So that the excellency of the person having the seal of God upon him, 
'For him hath God the Father sealed,' John vi. 27, doth wondrously satisfy 
conscience in all temptations whatsoever. AVhat need a man fear death, 
and damnation, and the miseries of this life, and Satan ? What are all ? 
If God be appeased and reconciled in Christ, then a man hath comfort, and 
may think of all other enemies as conquered enemies. Now, we cannot 
think of the death of Christ, who was a ' quickening Spirit,' but we must 
think of the death of an excellent person, that gave worth to his death, to 
be a satisfactory death for us. Therefore let us receive the communion 
with comfort, that as verily as Christ is mine, so his quickening Spirit is 
communicated to me, and whatsoever he hath is mine. If I have the field, 
I have the pearl in it ; his obedience, his victory over death, his sonship, 
is mine ; his sitting in heaven is for me ; he sits there to rule me while I 
am on earth, and to take me up to himself when I am dead. All is for 
me. When we have communion with Christ we have communion with all. 
Therefore ' the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,' when I am one with him, it 
quickens me, and ' frees me from the law of sin and death.' 


(a) P. 226. — ' The worJs arc much vexed by expositors.' For a full exhibition of the 
' vexing' of previous expositors, consult Willet's Hexapla, that is, ' A Sixfold Com- 
mentarie upon the most Divine Epistle of the holy Apostle St Paul to the Romans,' 
(folio, 1611); also Elton and Thomas Wilson of Canterbury, in loc. Of modern 
commentators, Hodge, and practicalli/, Haldane. 

(6) P. 232. — ' You know whoso speech it was, " If the land must be violated, it 
must be for a kingdom." ' This is another of Sibbes's tacit allusions to Shakspeare, 


•who puts into tho month of Edward, in ThirdPartof King Henry VI. (Act i., Scene 2) 
the sentiment here noticed : — 

' For a kingdom, any oath may be broken ; 
I'd break a thousand oaths to reign one year.' 

(c) P. 236. — ' Saith a Roman, What ! is it such a matter to die ? It is nothing to 
die,' &c. A sentiment of Stoicism. What follows reminds us of the immortal soli- 
loquy in Hamlet, of Sibbes's greatest contemporary, ' To be, or not to be,' &c. 





' The Privileges of the Faithful' forms the second half of the little volume entitled 
Yea and Amen. For the title-page and relative note, see Vol. IV. page 114. 



Also ice know that all tilings work together for the best to them, that love God, 
even to them that are called of his jJJirjjose. — Rom. VIII. 28. 

There are three things especially that trouble the life of a Christian, or 
at least should trouble the same. 

1. The first whereof is sin, with the guilt and punishment thereof. 

2. The second is the corruption of nature, which still abides in him, even 
after his vocation and conversion to Christ. 

3. The third is, the miseries and. crosses of this life, which do follow and 
ensue both upon sin and the evil thereof, as also by reason of that corrup- 
tion of nature still remaining in him, after his recovered estate in grace. 

For the first, the guilt of sin, which doth bind men over to death and 
damnation, that is forgiven to all believers in Christ Jesus, the ' second 

The second, which is the corruption of nature, which cleaves so fast to 
ns, that is dailv mortified and crucified in the saints by the word and Spirit 
of God. 

For the third, which is the grievous crosses and afflictions, which do 
accompany and follow the guilt of sin and the corruption of nature still re- 
maining In God's children ; however they are not taken away, yet they are 
made to have an excellent issue, ' for all things work together for the best 
unto them that love God.' So that these words of the apostle do aflbrd us, 

1. A ground of patience. 

2. A ground of comfort. 

In the former part of this chapter, the apostle had told us, ' that we 
know not how to pray as we ought, but that the Spirit itself doth teach 
us how to pray, and makes requests for us with sighs that cannot be ex- 
pressed.' And therefore however our corruptions and miseries in this life 
are not quite taken away, yet the evil of those evils is removed, God 
teaching and directing us by his Spirit to seek, by prayer unto him, 
for gi-ace to profit by them. And this is the coherence of these words with 
the former. 

The parts here to be handled may be these. 

1. An excellent prerogative : 'All things work together for the best.' '' 

2. Secondly, The 2^ersons to whom this jirerogative belongs : ' To them that 
love God,' and * whom he doth call.' 


3. Thirdly, The main cauae of this hlnscd jirerofjative. 

Those that ' love God ' have this privilege belonging to them, because 
they are * effectually called ' by his word, ' according to his purpose.' We 
know, saith the apostle, * that all things work together for the best to 
these.' He doth not say, * we hope,' or ' we conjecture,' but ' we know it 

We have the Scriptures of God for it. David saith, that ' it was good 
for him that he was afflicted,' Ps. cxix. 67, for thereby he had learned to 
reform his ways ; he knew by observation that all things w^ould tend to his 
future happiness. For he had seen in the example of Job, that notwith- 
standing his sore afflictions, yet he had a blessed issue out of all. He knew 
this many ways. He knew it by faith, as also by experience, that every 
thing should further the saints' well-being. 

We know, that is, we only know it, who are ' led and taught of God,' 
and none but we can be assured hereof, which excludes the wicked, who 
shall never know any such thing. But what is it that Paul is confident of 
here ? Namely, ' that all things work together for the best to them that 
love God.' 

And this may serve to be a prevention of a question, which weak Christians 
might move in their troubles, and say, ' Never was any more afflicted than 
I am.' Why, saith the apostle, be it so. Yet, nevertheless, all things 
u-hatsoeirr, all thy crosses, vexations, and trials, ' shall work together' and 
join issue. Though they be averse one to the other, and opposite to the 
good of God's children, as Herod and Pilate were, yet all things thus con- 
trary notwithstanding shall work for the best unto them. There is, 

1. A good of quality, 

2. A good of estate. 

Quest. Now therefore what kind of good is this the apostle meaneth ? 

Ans. He doth not here mean the natural or civil good estate of them 
that love God, but their spiritual condition in grace, and their glorious 
estate for the life to come ; for the furthering whereof, whatsoever befalls 
them in this life shall help forward still. 

And thus much for the words themselves. 

Doct. The first point to be spoken of is, the excellent privilege of God's 
children, ' that all things shall work together for the best ;' both good and 
evil shall turn to their happiness. The reason stands thus : ' All things 
shall work together for the best to them that love God.' Therefore all 
afflictions, crosses, and vexations whatsoever, that betide such persons, shall 
work together for their good ; and for this cause all God's servants must 
learn patiently to bear, and cheerfully to undergo poverty or riches, honour 
or dishonour, in this world. 

That all good things do work for the best to God's servants, is most 
apparent by daily proof and experience. 

1. To begin with the first chief good of all, which is God the Father, 
who is goodness itself, and unspeakably coinfortahle to all his. Do not all 
God's attributes conduce to our eternal welfare ? Is he not set forth in 
Scripture under the sweet name of a ' Father,' of a ' Shield and Buckler,' 
of a ' Tower of defence,' of an ' all-sufficient and almighty God,' 'just, wise, 
provident, merciful,' full of boundless compassion, and all to support his 
poor creatures from failing before him ? 

As he is our ' Father,' he is careful of us above the care of earthly parents 
to their children ; as he is a ' Shield,' so he shelters us from all wrongs ; 
as he is ' God almighty and all-sufficient,' so his power and bounty serve to 


sustain us in this world, and reserve us for ever safe in the world to come. 
His ' wisdom' makes us wise to prevent the politic plots of the devil or 
wicked men ; his justice and providence, they servo to defend us in our 
right, to provide for us in all our wants, and prevent the evils of the un- 
godly intended against us ; his power is ours, to keep us ; his providence, 
to dispose all things for our advantage. Everything in God shall co-work 
to provide and foresee all good for us, and mercifully to impart and bestow 
whatsoever is behoveful upon us. So that God being our Father, we have 
right and title to his love, mercy, power, justice, truth, faithfulness, pro- 
vidence, wisdom, and all-sufScicncy : all which ' shall ever work together 
for the best to them that love his appearing.' 

2. So for Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. All his glorious titles and 
attributes serve likewise for the everlasting comfort of his poor saints on 
earth. He is called the ' husband of his church,' to cherish and maintain 
the same. His love unto his church is far above the love of any husband 
to his wife. He is called the ' Saviour of the world,' because he ' so loved 
the world, that he gave his life for it,' Gal. ii. 20, and hath promised, ' that 
whosoever believeth on him shall not perish,' 2 Peter iii. 9. He is called 
the ' Fountain of life,' the ' Well of life,' the ' Water of life,' the ' Bread of 
life,' the ' Way, the Truth and the Life,' because that in him is our life, 
and by him we are fed and nourished to eternal life. Here in him we 
obtain the life of grace, and in the world to come shall for ever enjoy the 
life of glory. 

3. So likewise for the Hah/ Ghost. What heavenly attributes are ascribed 
to him in the Scriptures ! He is called ' the Comforter' of God's servants ; 
the ■ Sealer of the redemption of God's children in their hearts. He 
teacheth the elect to call God Father ; he ' beareth witness with their 
spirits that they are the sons and daughters of God ;' he teacheth them ' to 
pray as they ought ;' ' he fills them with peace that passeth all under- 
standing,' and refreshes their spirits with such unspeakable joy as eye hath 
not seen, nor ear heard the like.* He that is instructed by the Spirit 
knoweth the things of God, which a natural man is ignorant of. The Holy 
Ghost doth call to remembrance the doctrine of God taught unto his ser- 
vants, and writes the same in their hearts ;f so that the operations of the 
blessed Spirit are all appropriated to them that ' love God,' and they alone 
have their right in them. The direction, comfort, teaching, and guiding of 
the Spirit of God do serve entii-ely and peculiarly to order and work all 
things together for the best to the godly. 

4. Yea, the angels themselves are called * messengers and ministering 
spirits,' appointed by God to attend and wait upon his servants. ' He 
gives his angels charge over these, to serve them in all their ways, and to 
pitch their tents round about them,' Ps. xxxiv. 7. Whensoever God pleaseth 
to call any of his out of this world, the angels are a safe conduct, to carry 
their souls into ' Abraham's bosom.' And at the ' last judgment,' the Lord 
shall send forth his angels ' to gather his elect,' Mat. xxiv. 31, from one 
end of the world to the other, that they may fully enjoy that which they 
have long waited for, even eternal bliss and glory. 

5. Under the angels (Mother creatures are likewise made serviceable for his 
people's good. Princes in authority are called in Scripture ' nursing fathers 

* It has not been thouglit necessary to encumber and confuse the text with specific 
references to tliese and like fragmentary citations of familiar titles and designations 
from Holy Scripture. — G. 

t Cf. John xiv. 26, Jer. xssi. 33.— G 


and nursing mothers' unto the church of Christ, Isa. xlix. 23, the end of 

all magistracy being that we might live religiously and peaceably in all the 
ways of God. 

6. Ministers also are styled in the word h>j the names of * watchmen and 
seedsmen,' and ' spiritual fathers,' to beget men again to the kingdom of 
heaven. They are called ' God's husbandmen,' to manure and till his 
ground. They are called ' God's lights,' and ' the salt of the earth,' both 
to enlighten the church with the light of the glorious gospel whereof they 
are ministers, and to season them with such savoury and sweet instructions 
as may make them wise to salvation : this being the ver}- end of all God's 
giving gifts to men, that they might build up the church of Christ here 

7. So also the ivord of God is called the ' savour of life, and * the power 
of God unto salvation.' It is ' the seed of God,' which being sown in the 
hearts of God's children, spriugeth up in them to everlasting happiness. 
God's word is a ' light and a lantern' to guide and direct us in all his ways.* 
It is the sword of the Spirit, to arm us against sin and to maintain us in 

8. The sacraments likeicise are the seals of life and jiJcdijcs of our salvation 
in Christ ; and excommunication, though it be rough, and the cxtremest 
censure of the church (and therefore ought to be undertaken upon weighty 
grounds), yet the end of it is, to save the souls of God's people, and to make 
them by repentance turn unto him. 

9. So all outicard gifts, as beauty, strength, riches, and honours, these 
are given by God to serve for the good of his children. As the beauty of 
Esther was an instrument of her preferment, whereby she became a preser- 
vation to God's children, and an overthrow of her and their enemies : 
[and as] Joseph's outward honours and wealth were made by God's disposing 
hand a means of the preservation and nourishment of the Israelites, in the 
time of their great extremity and famine ; the like may be said of learning 
and other natural acquirements, all which do often tend to general and 
public advantages. 

10. Yea, the outward gifts of God, which are bestowed upon rejjrobates, are 
still for the f/ood of his; for they who had skill and knowledge to build 
Noah's ark, though they themselves were not saved therein, yet were they 
the means of Noah's preservation ;f and so it many times falleth out, that 
men of excellent parts and great abilities without grace, though themselves 
are not profited thereb}^ yet God so useth them as their gifts much con- 
duce to further and build up the church of Christ. 

11. 'EiYcn outward favour of j)rinces oft tend to God's servants' good. 
'A just man,' as the heathens could say, ' is a common benefit.' And so 
a true Christian, whatsoever good he hath, it is communicable to all the 
faithful ; and therefore St Paul saith of himself that ' he w^as a debtor to 
all men, both Jews and Gentiles,' Kom. i. 14 ; and that he ' became all 
things to all men, that he might win some,' 1 Cor. ix. 22. 

But here the main question will be, and the difficulty arises, how all ill 
things can work together for the best to God's children. I shall therefore 

1. The truth of this, hoiv it can be so. 

2. The reasons why it is so. 

* Cf. 2 Cor, ii. IG, Horn. i. 16, Luke viii. 11, Pa. cxix. 105.— G. 
t This thouf^lit lias been enlarged upon very effectively, in a popular American 
tract entitled ' Noah's Carpenters.' — G. 


3. Observe a caution, that it be not abused. 

4. Let us see the siceet and comfortable use of this doctrine. 

That this may the better appear, we must kuow that all evil thinrrs are 
either — 

1. Spiritual evil thi)iris. 

2. Outward evil thinffs. 

And for spiritual evil things, they are either, first, sin ; secondly, that 
which hath a reference to sin, as being evils following after sin. 

1. The first sin of all, which hath gone over whole mankind, and is spread 
abroad in every one of us, this by God's mercy and our repentance proves 
to all believers a transcendent good ; for the fall and sin of the first Adam 
caused the birth and death of the ' second Adam,' Christ Jesus ; who, not- 
withstanding he was God, took upon him the nature of man, and hath made 
us by his coming far more happy than if we had never fallen. Neither 
would God have suflei-ed Adam to have fallen but for his own further glory, 
in the manifestation of his justice and mercy, and for the greater felicity of 
his servants in Christ their mediator. 

2. The next spiritual evil is the corruption of nature remaining in all 
mankind ; howsoever broken and subdued in the Lord's dear ones. This 
worketh for the best to them after this manner. 

(1.) First, It serveth to make lis see and know we are kept bij God; how 
that we are not the keepers of our own selves, * but are kept by his power 
through faith unto salvation,' 1 Pet. i. 5. For were it not that God 
upholds and sustains us, our corruptions would soon overturn us ; but 
the sight of corruption being sanctified to the soul, causeth us to ground 
our comfort out of ourselves in Christ, and no whit to rely on anything 
that is in us. 

(2.) Our corruptions are also good to abase the pride of our natures, and 
let us see the naughtiness of our spirits, that ve may be humbled before God. 

(3.) And it is good we should have something within us to make us weary 
of the world; else, when we have run out our race, we be unwilling to 
depart hence. Now our bondage to this natural corruption serves exceed- 
ingly to make us mourn for our sinful disposition, and hunger after our God, 
to be joined with him ; as we see in St Paul's example, Rom. vii. 24, where, 
finding the rebellion of his nature and the strife that was in him, the flesh 
lusting against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, he cries out, 
saying, * wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from this body 
of death ?' and seeketh to God in Christ for mercy straight. 

(4.) Sometimes God sufiers corruption to break out of us, that we may 
know ourselves the better: and because corruption is weakened, not only by 
smothering, but many times by having a vent, whereupon grace stirs up in 
the soul a fresh hatred and revenge against it, and lets us see a necessity 
of having whole Christ, not only to pardon sin, but to purge and cleanse 
our defiled natures. But yet that which is ill itself must not be done for 
the good that comes by it by accident ; this must be a comfort after our 
surprisals, not an encouragement before. 

(5.) It is our great consolation that our nature is perfect in Christ, who 
bath taken our nature upon him, and satisfied divine justice, not only for 
the sin of our lives, but for the sin of our natures, who will finish his own 
work in us, and never give over till by his Spirit he hath made our natures 
holy and pure as his own ; till he hath taken away, not only the reign, but 
the very life and being of sin out of our hearts. To which end he leaves 
his Spirit and truth in the church to the end of the world, that the seed of 


the Spirit may subdue the seed of the serpent in us, and that th? Spirit 
may be a never-failing spring of all holy thoughts, desires, and endeavours 
in us, and dry up the contrary issue and spring of corrupt nature. 

(6.) Lastly, It is good that corruption should still remain in us, tJiat the 
<jlory of God may the more appear, wheuas Satan, that great and strong enemy 
of mankind, shall he foiled and overturned by a weak and j)oor Christian, who 
isfidl of corruptions ; and that through the strength of faith, though mixed 
with much distrust. For a Christian in the state of sin and corruption to 
overcome the great adversary of mankind, what a wonderment is it ! It 
tendeth much to the shame and dishonour of that * fiery dragon,' that weak 
and sinful man should be his conqueror. Oh how it confounds him, to 
think that ' a grain of mustard seed,' Mat. xiii. 31, should be stronger than 
the gates of hell ; that it should be able to ' remove mountains of opposi- 
tions and temptations cast up by Satan and our rebellious hearts between 
God and us. Abimelech could not endure that it should be said ' a woman 
had slain him,' Judges ix. 53 ; and it must needs be a torment to Satan 
that a weak child, a decrepit old man, should by a spirit of faith put him 
to Hight. 

3. A third kind of spiritual ill of sin are the things that issue out of this 
cursed stock ; and those are either inward or outward. For inward sins, 
they are either errors or doubtings, or pride or wrath, or such like. 

1. And first, for doubtings of the truth. This makes God's servants often 
more resolute to seek and search out the same, and to stand afterwards 
more firm and courageous for it. For if we doubted not of things, we 
should not afterwards be put out of doubt, nor seek to be better grounded 
and instructed in them. The Corinthians doubted once of the resurrection, but 
were ever after better resolved in that doctrine, the benefit whereof hath much 
redounded to the church's good ever since. Thomas had the like wavering 
disposition, but this doubting more manifested the truth. Luther being a 
monk at the first, and not fully grounded in the doctrine of The gospel, did 
therefore suspect himself the more, and wished all men after him to read 
his writings warily (a). The doctrine of the Trinity hath formerly been much 
doubted of, and therefore hath been with the greater pains and study of 
worthy men then living in the church more evidently proved. And when 
the Pelagians grew into heresies, they were by St Augustine gainsaid, and 
very strongly withstood. So the doctrine of the Church of Kome, being 
branched into divers erroneous opinions, and broached to the great hurt and 
prejudice of Christians, hath occasioned the truth of God against them to 
be the more excellently cleared and made known. For when religion is 
oppugned, it is time then ' to hold fast,' as the apostle St Jude saith, ' with 
both hands the word, and to fight for the faith ' (b), that so we may know 
both what to ^lold, and upon what ground we oppose heresy. 

2. Now for inward sins, as anger, covetousness, distrust, and such like, 
these often prove advantageous to the saints. Their corruptions are a 
means of their humiliation. Paul and Barnabas having a breach between 
them, were so exasperated that they forsook each other's company, by which 
means it came to pass that the church was more instructed than before.* 
And hence we may see what the best men are in themselves. If Luther 
had had no infirmities, how would men have attributed to him above 
measure ? As we see, they were read}^ to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas ; 
which shews us that even the distempers and weaknesses of God's servants 
are disposed by divine providence to their eternal welfare. 

* Cf. Acts XV. 39 with 2 Tim. iv. 11.— G. 


3. Yea, God often sufferetli his children to fall into some otihvard r/ross 
sins, that by means thereof they might be humbled and abased, and in the 
end be cured of that provoking sin of being proud in spirit. 

4. The fallliirf of (Joel's children doth much deject them, and hrbuj them iipon 
their knees with shame. It makes them gentle and meek in the reprehen- 
sion of their brethren ; for having slipped out of the way themselves, and 
being by repentance recovered, they learn to ' restore others with the spirit 
of meekness,' as the apostle speaks. Gal. vi. 1. A man humbled by 
experience of sin in himself will soon relent at the fall of others. Those often- 
times prove the most excellent instruments in the church who have formerly 
been overtaken with some gross sin, by means whereof they have ever after 
been much abased in their own eyes. 

We see David, Paul, and Peter fell grievously, but being afterwards 
raised again and finding comfort themselves, they were a great means of 
strengthening others ; for he which teacheth out of his own experience and 
feeling, is the fittest and best teacher of all. So it was with Jonah : when 
by casting him into the sea God had humbled him, he was fit to preach 
repentance to Nineveh. This is a most certain truth, that never any of 
God's elect fell grievously, but he was the better all the days of his life for 
his fall. David having been thoroughly humbled for sin, w'hen Shimei his 
subject cursed him to his face, how patiently did he bear the same, 2 Sam. 
xvi. 13, seq. So Peter having denied his Master, and afterwards recovering 
himself again, we see how zealous he was for his Lord Christ, and sufiered 
death for him. 

5. Furthermore, not only the sins of God's children, which they them- 
selves commit, do work for their best, hut also the sins of others of the 
saints ivith whom they converse and Jive, do much tend to their good and 
welfare. Do not the falls of David, Peter, Manasseh, and Paul comfort the 
distressed and despairing souls of such as languish and are ready to faint 
under the burden of their sins ? And do not the registry of their sins in 
Scripture give hope to us that God will be merciful to our sins also ? We 
may not think it is God's will to set upon perpetual record the sins of his 
servants for their shame, disgrace, and punishment, but for our comfort, 
who live and remain to the end of the world. And the faults of the saints 
have two excellent uses, whereof the one is for comfort, the other for 

Use 1. The use in regard of comfort is this. God hath shewed viercy to 
David, Paul, Peter, and others, sinninff grievously against him, and repenting 
of the same. Therefore if I also shall sin and truly repent as they did, 
surely God is where he was, as full of mercy and readiness to forgive now 
as ever. 

Use 2. The second use for instruction is this : If such excellent and eminent 
saints by sin have fallen grievously, hoiv then much more are we poor weak 
souls subject to fall if we neglect watchfulness over ourselves! If a weak 
Christian, oft assaulted with temptations, should not see the falls and slips 
of God's worthier servants, he would be in a wonderful desperation, and 
cry out of himself, saying, Alas ! what shall I do ; never was any so assaulted 
and tempted, so cast down and overcome in temptations as I am ; and 
therefore my case is more fearful and worse than ever was any. But when 
he considereth the grievous falls of God's special servants, how they have 
stepped aside foully and yet obtained mercy, by their examples he beginneth 
to be revived and receive inward comfort, whereby it is evident that all 
sins whatsoever of God's elect, as vile and as loathsome as they are, do by 

VOL. V. B 


God's proviclcnce and our o^vn serious repentance turn to their good, and 
the good of those with whom they Hve. 

4. The next spiritual evil is that which followeth after sin committed, 
viz., God's desertion or forsaking of us, when he seems to hide his favour from 
men after the}' have sinned against him. When God manifests himself as 
an enemy to his people, this grieves them more than anything else in tho 
world heside. We see David, how he calls upon God not to ' rehuke him 
in his wrath, nor forsake him in his displeasure,' Ps. vi. 1, where he sheweth 
how grievously he was afHicted with the anger of the Almighty. 

But alheit that God doth seem sometimes to forsake his servants, it is 
not for their confusion, but for their consolation ; for by this means they 
come to be poor in spirit, and wonderfully emptied of themselves. And it 
is very observable that when such as are thoroughly wounded and afflicted 
inwardly come to recover strength and peace again, they often prove the 
most comfortable Christians of all others, walking with more care to avoid 
offence all their lives after. 

Christ Jesus himself, though he never sinned, but only stood as a surety 
in our room to pay the ransom of our debts, seemed to be forsaken of 
God his Father ; and because he was thus humbled, therefore he was after 
most highly exalted above all, both in heaven and in earth. So Job seemed 
to be forsaken, and doth grievously bemoan his miseries ; but this was not 
because he had sinned against God more grievously than others had done, 
but for the trial of his faith and patience, to give him experience of God's 
love to him in the cross, that he might cleave the closer to his Maker all 
his time after. 

5. Another evil arising from the guiltiness of sin is cniffuish of mind and 
a lamnded spirit, ' which,' saith Solomon, * who can bear ?' Prov. xviii. 14. 
But for all this, grief for sin is an happy grief, yea, a gi-ief never to be grieved 
for. This wound in spirit breedeth afterwards a sound spirit. Repentance is 
good, and faith in Christ is good. But what doth prepare us to these happy 
graces ? Is it not a wounded spirit ? Who would ever repent of his 
sins, and lay hold on Christ for remission of the same, if he were not 
pricked and pierced in the sense thereof. Christ professeth himself to be 
a physician, but to whom ? * To the lost sheep of Israel,' Mat. xv. 24. He 
promisctb ease and refreshment, but to whom ? ' To them that are weary, 
and laden with the burden of their sins.' ' The Spirit of the Lord was 
upon him, that he mirfht preach the gospel to the poor,' Isa. Ixi. 2, and ' he 
was sent to heal the broken hearted, that he might preach deliverance to 
the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, and set at liberty them 
that are bruised,' Luke iv. 18. 

6. Again, Divers Christians do walk very heavily and uncomfortably, by 
reason of imrard tcntations, and blasplinnous ima(iinatio}is, which oft are 
suggested and enter into their minds ; but these sins which so vex the 
souls of poor Christians, are a means of their humiliation, causing them to 
sue more earnestly to God for pardon. And these sinful corruptions do 
further seiTC for a testimony to themselves, that they are not under tho 
power of Satan, but live in the kingdom of grace ; for if they were captivcd 
to the devil, and under his government, then would he never molest and 
vex them, but suffer them quietly to live and die in their sins ; but because 
they are from under his rule and jurisdiction, therefore he perplexeth and 
troubleth them all he can. By which it is evident, that all sins, by God's 
mercy and our repentance, ' do work together for the best unto us.' 

7. Yea, the circumstances of sin, as continuance therein, which much 


aggravates the sin ; when such a one truly repents and is restored to Christ, 
it maketh him more zealous and watchful ever after ; as we see in Paul, 
and the thief on the cross, who finding favour, acknowledge th his worthi- 
ness of punishment, rcprehendeth his fellow on the cross, and justifieth 
Christ to have done all things well ; and so giving glory unto God, and 
crying for mercy, receiveth a comfortable promise of an heavenly kingdom, 
Luke xxiii. 43. All things are possible to God. Wo can never be so ill 
as he is powerful and good ; God can bring contrary out of contrary. Ho 
hath promised to pour clean water upon us, Ezek. xxxvi. 25, which faith 
sues out, and remembers that Christ hath taken upon him to purge his 
spouse, and make her fit for himself. 

8. Further, the very relapses and haclislidings of God's servants into sin 
do not argue no repentance, but a weak repentance ; and therefore when 
they are again rebuked and turned from sin, their relapses do make 
them set upon the service of God more strongly, and run more constantly 
in his ways. Where true grace is, sin loses strength by every new fall ; 
for hence issues deeper humility, stronger hatred of evil, fresh indignation 
against ourselves, more experience of the deceitfulness of our hearts, and 
renewed resolutions till sin be brought under. Adam lost all by once sin- 
ning, but we are under a better covenant, a covenant of mercy, and are 
encouraged to go to God every day for the sins of that day. 

For it is not with God as it is with men, who being offended will scarce 
be reconciled, but God offended still oftereth mercy. Ho is not only ready 
to receive us when we return, but persuades and entreats us to come unto 
him ; yea, after backsliding and false dealing with him, wherein he allows 
no mercy to be shewed by man, yet he will take liberty to shew mercy him- 
self, as in Jeremiah, ' If a man have an adulterous wife, and shall put her 
away, and she become another man's, he will not receive her any more to 
him.' But saith the Lord, ' Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers, 
yet turn again unto me,' Jer. iii. 1 ; ' for I am merciful, and my wrath 
shall not fall upon you : I will not always keep mine anger,' ver. 12. 
' Though your sins be as crimson, they shall be white as snow, and though 
they be red like scarlet, they shall be as white as wool,' Isa. i. 18 ; ' if 
ye will turn to me, and wash ye, and make ye clean, and cease to do evil, 
and learn to do well,' ver. 16, 17. So Rev. ii. 4, Christ speaking to the 
church of Ephesus, saith, ' She hath fallen from her first love ;' but saith 
he, ' Remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first 
works, and I will receive thee to favour ;' by which we see that the relapses 
of God's elect, as they do not finally hinder mercy from their souls, so not- 
withstanding the same, they are still encouraged to return to God, to 
renew their covenant by faith and repentance, and cleave more strongly 
to him. 

8. As for outward evils, they are, first, evils of estate, as want and 
poverty, which oft falls out to be the portion of God's chikken, yet are 
they not any whit the worse hereby, but rather the better in their inner 
man ; for the less they have in this world, the greater and larger happi- 
ness shall they partake of in another world. What they lose one way is 
supplied another. Whatsoever comfort we have in goods or friends below, 
it is all conveyed from God above, who still remains, though these be taken 
away. The saints see, that if to preserve the dearest thing in the world, 
they break with God, he can make it a dead contentment and a torment to 
them ; whereas, if we care to preserve communion with God, we shall be 
sure to find in him, whatsoever we deny for him, honour, riches, pleasures. 


friends, all ; so much the sweeter, bj^ how much we have them more imme- 
diately from the spring-head. Our riches, and friends, and life itself, may 
soon depart. But God never loseth his right in us, nor we our inte- 
rest in him. Every thing beneath teaches us, by the vanity and vexation 
we find in them, that our happiness is not there ; they send us to God ; 
they may make us worse, but better they cannot. Our nature is above 
them, and ordained for a greater good. They can but go along with us for 
a while, and their end swallows up all the comfort of their beginning. 

Besides, none have that experience of God's goodness and faithfulness, 
as those that are in want and miseiy. God in his wisdom foreseeing what 
is best for his sei"\'ants, knows that the more worldly wealth they do abound 
in, the less their estimation would be of heavenly things. He sees how 
apt the poor creature is to be carried away with present comfort, and to 
have his love drawn to the world from better contentments. The poorer 
they are in worldly riches, the more they seek to be rich in grace, in know- 
ledge, faith, and repentance, which heavenly treasures incomparably sur- 
mount the most transcendent excellency which the creature can yield. 

9. As for the evil of losing a r/ood name, a thing oft befalling the children 
of God, to be slandered and evil spoken of, they upon every small dis- 
grace take occasion to enter into themselves and try whether they be guilty 
of such hard imputations as are flung upon them. 

And if upon a serious consideration he find himself disgraced for good 
things, he wears it as a crown and as a garland upon his head, * rejoicing 
that he is accounted worthy to suffer for the Lord Jesus,' Acts v. 41, 
esteeming ' the rebukes of Christ greater treasure than the riches of Egypt,' 
Heb. xi. 26. A true believer resigns his good name, and all that he hath, 
to God. He is assured that no man can take away that from him which 
God will give him and keep for him. It is not in man's power to make 
others conceive what they please of us. 

10. For the evils of body, such as sickness and diseases of all sorts, 
which daily attend our houses of clay, God by means hereof acquaints his 
children with their frail condition, and shews them what a little time they 
have to provide for eternity, thereby driving them to search their evidences, 
and to make all straight betwixt him and them. Outward weaknesses are 
oft a means to restrain men from inward evils. God usually sanctifies the 
pains and griefs of his servants to make them better. The time of sick- 
ness is a time of purging from that defilement we gathered in our health. 
We should not be cast down so much for any bodily distemper, as for sin, 
that procures and envenoms the same. That is a good sickness which 
tends to the health of the soul. N.iaman, the Assyrian, if he had not had 
a leprosy in his body, had continued a leper, both in body and soul, all his 
days : his outward grievances made him inwardly sound. The very heathen 
could say, that we are then best in soul when we are weakest in body (c), 
for then we are most in heavenly resolutions and seeking after God. Yea, 
then it appears what good proficients we have been in time of health. Oh 
how happy were our conditions, if we were as good when we are well and 
in health, as we usually are when we are sick and ill. 

11. Kvcn death itself, which is the end of all, though it be fearful and 
irksome to nature, yet it is to God's servants a bed of down, easing them 
of all their miseries, and putting them in possession of an heavenly king- 
dom ; therefore saith Solomon, * The day of death is better than the day of 
birth,' Eccles. vii. 1. God will be the God of his, not only unto death, but 
in death. Death is the death of itself, and not of us. It is a disarmed 



and conquered enemy to all tlio faithful ; for wliicli cause St Paul desired 
to be dissolved and to bo with Christ, which is best of all, Phihp. i. 23. 
Death, albeit it seems terrible and dreadful, yet the sting thereof being 
taken away by the death of Christ, it brings everlasting joy along with it, 
and is only as a groom* porter to let us in to a stately palace. Whither 
tend all the troubles we meet with in this world, but only to fit us for a 
better condition hereafter, and to assure the soul that when earth can bold 
it no longer, heaven shall. 

12. Yea, when friends forsake us, and are false unto us, ' God is a sure 
help in time of need,' Ps.xxxvii. 39. He is our refuge from one generation 
to another. Do we not see that in the decay of worldly comforts, God then 
manifests himself most comfortably to his people ? Doth he not style him- 
self ' the comforter of the comfortless, and the help of them that are in dis- 
tress ;' and do not ' with him the fatherless find mercy?' Ps. x. 14. If men 
were more fatherless, they would find more mercy at God's hands. As 
Christ makes us all to him, so should we make him ' all in all' to ourselves. 
If all comforts in the world were dead, we have them still in the living Lord. 
How many friends have we in him alone, who, rather than we shall want 
friends, can make our enemies our friends ? Thus it appears that all 
miseries are a trial of us to God and to the w^orld, what we are. They are 
a cure of sin past, and a preparation to endure further crosses. They have 
many excellent uses and ends, and all for the best to God's servants. 

It is good we should be exercised with present crosses, to put us in mind 
of the evils we have done long ago, that so we may repent of them. Joseph's 
brethren, being afliicted and imprisoned, called to mind how hardly they 
had dealt with their brothea' long before. Gen. xlii. 21. It should be our 
wisdom, while we remain here, to consider our warfaringf condition ; how 
we are daily environed with enemies, and therefore ought to stand con- 
tinually upon our guard against Satan and the powers of darkness, and as 
pilgrims and strangers go on in our journey to heaven : not starting at the 
barking of every dog, nor entangling ourselves in worldly things, whereby 
we should be stopped in our way. 

It is for our best, not to be condemned with the world. Afflictions serve 
for this very end, to make us more prize God, and deny the creature with 
all its excellencies. Are our crosses great here ? Let us not be daunted, 
but bear them patiently : our comfort shall be the greater afterwards. It 
is not only good for us that we should have crosses, but that they should 
be continued upon us, that we may the better know ourselves. If all were 
well with a man wounded, and the sore clean healed, the plaster would fall 
off itself. So, were we thoroughly cured of our spiritual wants, and in a 
continual resistance of every evil way, these afflictions, which are the plasters 
of our souls, would soon cease and leave us. 

13. Furthermore, Satan himself and all his instruments, ichen they most 
tet themselves affainst God's people, and seek their overthrow, then are they 
working their chief good. The devil, when he thought to make an end 
of Christ by putting him to death, even then, by that very thing, was 
vanquished himself, and the church of God fully ransomed from hell and 
damnation. God sufiers many heretics to be in the world ; but why ? Not 
that the truth should bo held in darkness ; but that it might thereby be 
more manifested and known. It is Satan's continual trade, to seek his rest 
in our disquiet. When he sees men will to heaven, and that they have 
good title to it, then he follows them with all temptations and discomforts 

* Qu. ' grim ' ?— G. t Q^- ' wayfaring' ?— Ed. 


that he can. He cannot endure that a creature of meaner rank than him- 
self should enjoy a happiness beyond him ; but our comfort is, that Christ 
was tempted, that he might succour all poor souls in the like case. We 
are kept by * his power, through faith unto salvation,' 1 Pet. i. 5. 

Now, the causes why all things do work together for the best to them 
that love God are these, viz. : — 

1. It is God's decree. 

2. It is God's manner of working. 

3. It is God's blessed covenant. 

4. It is the foundation of the covenant of Christ Jesus. 

1. God's decree and purpose is, of bringing all his elect unto eternal sal- 
vation ; and therefore all things in heaven and earth must conduce to bring 
his servants unto glory. The reason is this, God is infinitely wise and 
infinitely strong, provident, and good ; therefore by his infinite wisdom, 
power, providence, and mercy he turneth all things to the best for his. 
Whatsoever is in heaven, earth, or hell, is ordered by God, neither is there 
anything without him ; therefore nothing can hinder his decree. Satan 
himself, with all his instruments, yea, the worst of creatures, all must 
serve God's purpose, contrary to their natures, for the good of his chil- 
dren. The prophet saith, 'God hath commanded salvation, and he hath 
commanded deliverance to Jacob,' Ps. xliv. 4. When God hath deter- 
mined to save any man, all things must needs serve him that overrules all 
things. As it was said of Christ when he stilled the seas, ' Who is this, 
that the very wind and seas obey him ?' Mat. viii. 27. God commanded 
the whale to serve at his beck to save Jonah, and it obeyed. All creatures 
in the earth are at his disposing, and serve to accomplish his pleasure. 

2. The second cause why all works together for the best to believers, is 
the manner of God n'orkimj in ihinr/s, which is by contraries. He bringeth 
light out of darkness, glory out of shame, and life out of death. We fell 
by pride to hell and destruction, and must be restored by humiliation to 
life and salvation. Christ humbled himself, being God, to become man for 
us, and by his death restored us to life. When our sins had brought ua 
to greatest extremities, even then were we nearest to eternal happiness. 
Therefore saith the apostle, ' When we are weak, then are we strong in 
the Lord,' 2 Cor. xii. 10. When we are abased, then are we readiest to 
be exalted ; when we are poor, then are we most rich ; and when we are 
dead, then do we live. For God worketh all by contraries. He lets men 
see his greatness and his goodness, that so they may admire his works and 
give more glory to him. He worketh without means, and above means, 
and against means. Out of misery he bringeth happiness, and by hell 
bringeth men to heaven ; which, as it manifesteth God's glory to his crea- 
tures, so it serveth for the confusion of man's pride, that he may discern 
he is nothing in himself, but is all that he is in the Lord. 

3. The third cause why all things work for the best to them that fear 
God is, God's covenant vith his church : when once this gracious covenant 
is made, that * he will be their God, and they shall be his people,' Lev. 
xxvi. 12 ; that he will ' be their Father and protector,' must not all things 
then needs serve for their good ? Whenas God tells Abraham, ' I am thy 
God, all-sufficient ; only walk before me, and be thou perfect,' Gen. xvii. 1, 
doth not this engage him to set his power and mercy, his wisdom and 
providence, all on work for the happy estate of Abraham ? When once 
God by his promise is become our God, there is a covenant betwixt us and 
the creatures ; yea, and the stones in the street, that nothing shall wrong 



US, but all conduce to our good. The angels are ours ; their service is for 
our protection, safety, and welfare. Heaven and earth is ours, and all 
things in them for our behoof. Christ himself, and together with him, all 
things else are become ours ; in him we are heirs of all. What a wondrous 
comfort is this, that God hath put himself over to be ours ; whom to enjoy 
is to possess all things, and to want is miseiy inexpressible. Had we all 
the world without God, it would prove a curse and no blessing to us ; 
whereas if we have nothing and enjoy God, we have happiness itself for 
our portion. If we have no better portion here than these things, we are 
like to have hell for our portion hereafter. Let God be in any condition, 
though never so ill, yet it is comfortable. He is goodness itself. And, 
indeed, nothing is so much a Christian's as God is his ; because by his being 
ours in covenant, all other things become ours, and therefore they cannot 
but co-operate for our good. 

* When thou art in the fire and water, I am with thee,' saith God, Isa. 
xliii. 2. And ' Thou art my buckler, my glory, and shield ; therefore I 
will not be afraid though ten thousand of people shall beset me round 
about,' saith David, Ps. xci. 7 ; for ' salvation belongeth unto the Lord.' 
And if God be on our side, who can be against us ? ' If God justify us, 
who shall condemn us?' Kom. viii. 34. Can anything hurt us when he 
is become our loving Father ? Neither ' death, nor life, nor things present, 
nor things to come, nor principalities, nor powers, nor anything whatsoever, 
can separate us from his love toward us,' ver. 35. 

4. A fourth ground why all things fall out for the best to the saints is, 
the foundation of this covenant ofGodicith his church, which is Christ Jesus, 
who by his blood hath purchased our peace. He being God became man, 
and is the sole author of all our comfort. Without Christ God is ' a con- 
suming fire,' Heb. xii. 29 ; but in him, a most ' loving Father,' and * ever 
well pleased.' God promiseth in Christ his Son * to marry his people unto 
himself for ever; yea,' saith he, ' I will marry thee unto me in righteous- 
Bess, and in judgment, and in mercy, and everlasting compassion,' Isa. 
Ixii. 5, and liv. 8. Now upon this blessed contract made in Christ to his 
church, what followeth ? ' In that day,' saith the Lord, ' I will hear the 
heavens, and they shall hear the earth : and the earth shall hear the com, 
and the wine, and the oil ; and they shall hear Israel : and I will have 
mercy upon her that was not pitied ; and I will say unto them which were 
not my people. Thou art my people ; and they shall say, Thou art my 
God,' Hosea ii. 22, 23. "\^^lere we see what is the reason of all their 
happiness ; even this, that God will marry them to himself. So that 
this marriage worketh all our bliss ; our conjunction with Christ, and 
reconciliation through his death, is the cause of all our comfort ; in him 
we have the adoption of sons. Hence it is that we are at peace with 
God, and have freedom from all harms. Christ in his greatest reproach 
and deepest humiliation had his greatest triumph and exaltation. In his 
death on the cross he vanquished death, and entered into eternal life. 
When Christ came into the world, and took upon him our nature, even 
then the gi-eatest monarch in the world, Augustus Caesar, was at his 
command ; whom he so ordered as that by his causing all the world to 
be taxed, Christ was manifested to be born at ' Bethlehem in Jewry,' 
Luke ii. 1. 

How Cometh it to pass that death, which is fearful in itself, cannot hurt us ? 
The reason is, ' Death is swallowed up in victory ' by his death, 1 Cor. xv. 54. 
It is Christ that sanctifieth all crosses, afllictions, and disgraces to the 


saints' advantage. The evil of them all is taken away by him, and turned 
to his people's good. How cometh it to pass that the law cannot hurt us, 
which pronounceth a curse against every one that abideth not in all things 
written therein, to do them ? The reason is, ' Christ was made a curse 
for us ; he was made under the law, that he might redeem us who were 
under the law,' Gal. iii. 13 ; and thus is Christ a meritorious and deserv- 
ing cause of procuring all good to us, and removing all ill from us. 

He doth not only overcome evil for us, but also overcometh evil in us, 
and gives us his Spirit, which unites us to himself; whereby we have 
ground to expect good out of every ill, as knowing that whatsoever Christ 
wrought for the good of mankind, he did it for us in particular. 

In outward favours grace makes us acknowledge all the blessings we have 
to be the free gifts of God, and invites us to return the glory to him. 

God's servants take all occasions and opportunities of doing good, by 
those gifts and abilities wherewith they are endowed. When Esther was 
advanced to great honour, Mordecai told her that God had conferred that 
dignity upon her for his people's welfare, that she might be a means of their 
safety. AVhereas, on the contrary, a proud heart, destitute of the Spirit of 
Christ, ascribes all to itself, waxeth more haughty, and grows worse and 
worse the more good'he enjoys. 

A gracious soul, upon the sight of the evil of sin in itself, is more deeply 
humbled before God, and with St Paul crieth out of his wretchedness, 
Kom. vii. 24. A heavenly-minded man being smitten for his wickedness, 
laboureth for subjection under the hand of the Almighty, and saith, ' I will 
patiently abide and endure thy correction, because thou, Lord, hast done 
it,' Ps. Hi. 9. When the gracious man is held under the cross, and 
sufiereth bitter things, he saith, ' It is good for me that I am afflicted, for 
thereby I am taught to know thee,' Ps. cxix. 67. In all troubles that 
befall him, he professeth that * it is good for him to cleave unto God.' And 
the less outward wealth he hath, the more he seeks for inward grace, 
making a holy use of all things. 

Upon these instructions hence delivered, let us take a view of ourselves, 
and try whether we in our afflictions are such as cleave to God, and are 
drawn nearer to him thereby. Call to mind the crosses wherewith God 
hath exercised thee, and the blessings which at any time he hath bestowed 
upon thee, and see how in both thou hast been bettered ; see what profit- 
able use thou hast made thereof for thy soul's comfort. 

Let us see how we have followed the providence of God in his dealing 
with us ; for if we have an interest in his goodness, then will we be careful, 
as God turns all things for our good, so to follow the same, together with 
him, for the good of our souls. 

0})j. Now, because things do not ahrcn/s conduce to the good of God's 
children, as outward peace and prosperity oftentimes make them worse, 
therefore some may object, how can this be true which here the apostle 
saith, ' that all things do work together for the best to them that love God? ' 

Ans. 1. The answer hereunto is. That for the most part the children of God 
do take the fjood of the blessings tvhich God bestows on them, and avoid the 
snares of evil which accompany the same. Job saith, ' The things I feared 
are come upon me.' Piy which we see, that Job in the midst of all his 
prosperity did fear and was jealous over himself, Job iii. 25. 

2. But a more plainer answer of the objection is, That if the r/ood things 
of God, as peace, plenty, and prosjyerity, do fall out at the first to their ill, yet, 
nevertheless, they shall prove in the end a great gain unto them; for whereas 


by occasion of these they formerly fell (having too high an estimation of 
the creature, and overpi-izing the same), they see now more into their 
nature, and learn to contemn them. 

3. Again, The outward fjood things of this life shew the weakness of God's 
servants, and serve to try ivhat is in them; and therefore we read of Hezekiah, 
that God left him ' to try what was in him,' 2 Chron. xxxii. "61. The out- 
ward treasure which he had was a means to make known to himself and 
others the pride and vanity of his mind ; the plenty and prosperity of the 
saints are greater triers of them than adversities and wants. For many 
that have comfortably gone through a low condition have yet foully failed 
in a full estate, their corruptions breaking forth to the view of others. 
Prosperity teaches men themselves. It tries their spirits, and lays them 
open to the world. Therefore it seemeth good to God to strip his servants 
of these outward things. They can acknowledge with patience his righteous 
dealing, knowing that man's happiness consists not in abundance of these 
things, but that the blessing of God is riches enough. 

Ohj. But some may object, and say, I have been long afflicted, and 
have had many crosses upon me, and little good do I find by them ; I am 
never the better, but rather the worse for all. 

Ans. This may be true thou sayest, but stay a Httle and consider the 
event. Howsoever, by reason of the bitterness and continuance of the 
cross, hitherto thou findest little good thereby, yet know that God is all 
this while but in hammering and working of thy unruly heart, thy good 
will follow afterwards. We see by experience, that sick persons, while they 
are in physic, are made sicker and sicker, but after that hath done working, 
then the party- is far better than before. It is a folly to think that we 
should have physic and health both at once. It is impossible that a man 
should sow and reap both together. AVe must of necessity endure the 
working of God's physic. If trouble be lengthened, lengthen thy patience. 
When the sick humour is carried away and purged, then we shall enjoy 
desired health. God promiseth forgiveness of sin, but thou findest the 
burden of it daily on thee. Cheer up thyself; when the morning is darkest 
then comes day ; after a fight victory will appear. God's time is best ; 
therefore wait cheerfully. 

Ofttimes God's servants under his cross are so sore wrought upon that 
they have hardly leisure of making a good use of the same, being distracted 
and dejected for the present, so as that they burst out rather into further 
evil than before. But afterwards, when their afflictions are thoroughly 
digested, then they begin to find the fruit of patience, humiliation, and 
obedience, and are better for the same ever after ; therefore wait contentedly 
God's leisure ; thou shalt surely find a sweet calm after the storm is 
over. Though we find little benefit by afflictions for the present, yet let us 
not conclude all is naught with us ; for temptations being bitter, will not 
suffer men in them to lift up their hearts straight. After the extremity and 
vexation thereof is laid, then ensueth the ' quiet fruit of righteousness,' 
Heb. xii. 11. 

Ohj. 1. But if all things, yea, sin itself, shall turn to the best to those 
that love God, what need we then care for the committing of sin ? 

Ans. The apostle St Paul was in his days troubled with the like question. 
Therefore, observe with what detestation he answers, saying, ' God forbid, 
the damnation of such men is just,' Rom. iii. 8. But to answer more fully 
and plainly for the satisfaction of weak Christians. 
* Cf. Note, Vol. III. page 9 — G. 


2. True it is, that all things, even the sins of God's servants, shall by 
God's mercy turn to their good ; yet, nevertheless, the rule of God's word 
must ever be regarded, which is this, ' we may not do evil that good may 
come thereof.' That which is evil in itself must not be done, no, though 
for the doing thereof we might gain the greatest good, or avoid the greatest 
evil whatsoever ; as if it were to win a world, we might not tell a lie, 
because it is a breach of God's law; Christ saith to the devil, 'It is written. 
Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God,' Mat. iv. 7. We may not there- 
fore by sin tempt God, so to set his goodness in working good out of our 

If, therefore, upon this ground of doctrine (that all things shall turn to 
the good of God's children, yea, even their sins themselves), any of us 
shall commit wickedness, and displease his Majesty, to try what mercy and 
wisdom is in him, to draw good out of our evil ; this is a provoking of 
God's goodness, and those who thus do, turn the truth of God's word into 
poison, and make even that their destruction which should build them up 
in grace and holiness. 

If we sin through weakness and frailty of our flesh, and through strength 
of temptation, upon repentance we may find grace ; but if presuming that 
God will turn all things to our good, we break his law, what else do we but 
first of all make God the cause of our evil ; and secondly, vex and scandal* 
the saints on earth ; thirdly, we sadf the blessed angels in heaven ; and, 
fourthly, rejoice the devils and damned spirits in hell, putting darts and 
deadly weapons into their hands to work our ruin and overthrow ; nay, 
fifthly, we grieve the good Spirit of God, who continually putteth us in 
mind of better things, if we would hearken to him, and by whom we are 
sealed up unto the day of redemption ; sixthly, we slacken grace in our 
hearts, and whereas we should grow forward in virtue and holiness, we 
weaken the power of godliness exceedingly in us ; seventhly, all wiUing 
sins do abate our afliance in God, and the feeling of his favour towards us ; 
yea, oftentimes by so sinning, many of his dear children have walked 
heavily without spiritual joy all the days of their lives ; for howsoever in 
regard the Lord hath elected us, we shall never finally fall away and perish, 
yet we may want the sweet sense of his favour, and remain afllicted in spirit 
all our life long. And then we shall know that the grief and trouble which 
we here undergo to avoid sin and subdue it, will be nothing so much as the 
mischief and sorrow that sin once committed and yielded ^to will bring on 
the soul. 

Yea, there is no child of God but by expei'icnce shall one day feel that 
howsoever God by his wisdom and mercy can turn every sin to our good, 
yet it will prove bitter as wormwood in the end ; the pleasure will never 
answer the smart and vexation that attends it. The contrition and break- 
ing of thy heart for thy sins committed, if thou be God's, will more dis- 
quiet and trouble thee than possibly it can be a trouble to lesist and for- 
sake sin. 

Nay, oftentimes God doth punish the very want of reverence in his 
servants to him, as also their slackness and unfitnesss in good duties, so as 
they may easily discern he is offended with them for the same. As wo 
may see by the example of the Corinthians, who coming unpreparedly to 
the Lord's supper, for this very cause were so punished, ' that some of them 
were sick, and some weak, and some were struck by death,' 1 Cor. xi. 30. 
, David's numbering of the people, and Hezekiah's shewing of his treasures 
That is, scandalise. — G. t That is, sadden.— G. 



to the princes of Biibel, howsoever by some they may be thought small 
sins, yet God scourged them for the same very sharply. And it is good 
that God's servants" should a little know what it is to oflend their Maker, 
for if they will be so negligent and careless in walking with him, it is fit 
they should reap the fruit of their own devices. It causeth much relapsing 
and backsliding from God, when men have never truly smarted for their 
sin. Having had knocks in our own ways, it cstablisheth us in God's 
ways. For we love to wander from ourselves, and bite* strangers at home, 
till God by one cross or other brings us to himself, and then we think of 
returning to him. Nay, it is better for them a thousand-fold, that God 
should so school them, than that they should be let alone, and so go on 
without controlment from sin to sin till they come to desperation. 

Howsoever therefore that God can and will turn the sins of his servants 
to the best advantage, yet better it were for them they had never sinned 
at all. Do we not think that David wished he had never fallen into that 
sin of adultery ? And would not Peter have been glad that he had never 
denied his Master ? The sin of David cost him many a cry for pardon : 
' Mercy, Lord, mercy ; ' ' against thee have I sinned, forgive me this heinous 
crime ;' and it cost Peter many a bitter salt tear, too, howsoever both 
David and Peter, after their recovery by repentance, were the better for it 
to their dying day. 

As for all such as persist in sin, that God may turn all things to their 
best, let them know that all things shall work together for their bane and 
utter desti-uction for ever, which I now come to shew. 

1. First of all, God himselj and his blessed awjels are at enmity with 
them. And therefore, 

2. AU the creatures, both in heaven and earth, are aijainst them. In 
Pharaoh's ten plagues we see the creatures were all ready to execute the 
pleasure of the Almighty against him. And the * bears out of the forest' 
were armed by God to devour those scoffing children, 2 Kings ii. 24. This 
is one part of the burden under which the creatures of God do groan, that 
they serve God against wicked men, and are his armies to punish the 
rebellious world. 

3. Even the (food gifts of God are turned to the banc of the icicJced. Ab- 
salom's glory, his goodly long locks, were his halter to hang him up by. 
Ahithophel's witf and policy brought him to that fearful end of being his 
own hangman. Haman's honour, what good did it to him, but only 
brought him to greater shame ? His greatness made him swell in pride, 
and his pride had a sudden fall. What became of Herod's high mind in 
taking to himself the glory of God ? which when foolish people ascribed it 
to him, was he not presently smitten, so as the ♦ worms consumed him,' 
Acts xii. 23, and he died a loathsome death ? What became of Dives his 
riches ? Did not his abuse thereof plunge him deeper into hell ? Wicked 
men, though they abound in this world, yet not being in covenant with 
God, they have nothing with a blessing. The wicked are but as traitors 
before God; and oft it is seen that great traitoi-s, who are by the prince kept 
m prison, are nourished very liberally until their time of execution come. 
So it is with all graceless persons. However for the present they have 
great allowances, yet as traitors, in the conclusion, they shall have an hard 
account to make unto God for all those things they have sinfully enjoyed. 
And not only so, but they abuse the very truth of God, as shall appear in 
divers particulars. 

* Qu. ' bide ' ?— Ed. t That is, ' wisdom.'— G. 


(1.) First, For the comfortable doctrine of justification by faith alone: they 
pervert the same to their own destruction, saying, We are justified by faith 
only, what need we then care for doing of good works ? Alas ! they profit 
us nothing to our salvation. Therefore it is to no end to strive to do good. 

(2.) Again, For the doctrine of Christian liberty. God having given U3 
lawful recreations and plentiful use of his creatures, they turn all into 
licentiousness ; and instead of moderate refreshment, they make a daily 
occupation of sports and games ; instead of a lawful use of the creatures, 
they run into all excess of riot, in meat, drink, apparel, buildings, and 

(3.) And for the doctrine of morality, how do wicked men abuse it, say- 
ing, ' Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we shall die,' Luke 
XV. 23. That which should put them in mind of spending of their time 
well, increaseth their sin. 

(4.) Whereas the lomjsuffering of God shordd lead men to repentance, the 
wicked by means of God's patience run more securely on in sin, ' treasuring up 
to themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and the declaration of God's 
just judgment,' Rom. ii. 5, which one day shall cease* upon them. ' Because 
he doth not speedily execute his displeasure,' Eccles. viii. 11, therefore 
they grow worse and worse, those never considering the lamentable con- 
dition that sin brings them into ; which did they thoroughly weigh, they 
would give the whole world if they were possessors of it, to have their 
spirits at freedom from this bondage and fear. God will take a course that 
his grace shall not be turned into wantonness. First or last, thou shalt 
find, whoever thou art, at what rate thou buyest the pleasure of sin. Those 
that have enjoyed long the sweet of sin may expect the bitterest sorrow 
and heart-breaking for it. 

Nay, the greater good things they have, the greater evil they receive 
thereby by abuse of the same. 

5. llie more they are illuminated by the ii-ord, their hearts become more 
rebellious against it ; and the greater authority, wealth, and health they 
enjoy, the more mischief they do with them. Those heavenly doctrines 
which should build up a good heart unto holiness, do they abuse to bring 
their souls deeper into wickedness ; shewing themselves like to their father 
the devil, whose children they indeed are. God hath said, ' He would give 
his angels charge over thee,' Ps. xci. 11, which is a most comfortable place 
to a good heart. But how doth Satan abuse this to Christ ? That he 
should fling himself headlong from the pinnacle of the temple ; and as the 
devil, so every wicked man, by all his instructions of the word, takes occa- 
sion to tempt God the more ; turning both grace itself, and the doctrine of 
grace, into wantonness. 

Are there not many that hear the word and know God's mind, who yet 
profit nothing to amendment of life ? Were it not better for these never 
to enjoy such means of heavenly wisdom, than now having the light still 
to live in darkness. Their knowledge only makes their damnation the 
greater if they continue in sin. What a lamentable condition is that man 
in, whose knowledge is only sufiicicnt to damn his own soul ! But let us see 
further how all evil things work together for the worst to ungodly persons. 

(1.) And to begin with spiritual ill things, as heresies and errors. They 
serve but to ensnare the wicked ; for instead of making them cautelousf 
and diligent to search out the truth, they are carried away ' with every wind 
of doctrine.' 

* Qu. ' come ' ? — Ed. t That is, ' cautious.'— O. 


So for the ill of f/ood vien, their falls and sins. The wicked of the world 
reap no benefit thereby, but encourage and hearten themselves the more in 
a sinful way, rejoicing thereat and making it their daily talk ; neither do 
their own daily sinnings any whit better them, but are as so many punish- 
ments of their former transgressions : God in his justice sufiering them still 
to run on to the fulfilling of the measure of their iniquities. 

(2.) And for outward evils in this life, those that do turn to a good man's 
happiness fall out continually to their destruction. Pharaoh's ten plagues, 
which might have humbled his soul, made him but worse and worse. 
Therefore saith God, ' Why should I smite you any more ?' for even since 
I punished you 'ye revolted still,' Isa. i. 5. The wicked are like to the 
smith's anvil, which by often beating is made harder and harder. So the 
more they are corrected, the stubborner and stifi'er in sin they grow. Their 
crosses are laid upon them from an angry God, and are forerunners of his 
eternal wrath, which shall seize upon their souls in hell, where the more 
they are tormented the more they shall blaspheme, and the more they shall 
blaspheme the more they shall be tormented without cessation. 

Causes. The cause of all this evil upon the wicked is,. /?rs^, God's infinite 
justice, which will not be unsatisfied ; secondly, their oini rile hearts, which, 
like a sick man having an ill stomach, digests nothing, but turns all to 
poison. Therefore saith the apostle, ' To the unclean all things are 
unclean,' Titus i. 15. As poisonsome plants put into a fertile place do 
envenom the ground whereinto the}'' are removed ; so the same crosses that 
turn unto a good man's welfare prove a bad man's ruin, by reason of the 
corruption within him. Another cause is, the devil's malicious working by 
it. He makes wicked men abuse all their parts, both inward and outward, 
to God's dishonour and their own confusion, endeavouring to conform them 
to himself. None hath greater knowledge and understanding in the word 
of God than the devil. Yet he turns all his knowledge unto the sin against 
the Holy Ghost. But yet the devil cannot force men to wickedness. It 
is their own sinful hearts which betray them into his hands. 

Use 1. Whence we learn that cdl wicked men, in the midst of their happi- 
ness, are most nnhappy, because Ihey turn the sweetest blessings into bitter 
poison ; for all the gifts of God, without his special gift of using them well, 
are turned into a curse ; as Balaam had good parts, but they not being 
sanctified proved his bane. 

Use 2. AVe see further, that outward prosperity is no mark of the true 
church. Abundance of temporal blessings is no sign that we are in God's 
favour ; neither are learning and knowledge evidences of spiritual grace. 
For the devil hath greater understanding and parts than any man. How- 
beit, sight of sin preserves us from falling into it ; and such as shut their 
eyes against the light, plunge themselves into the deeper misery. 

Ohs. 1. Now to proceed to further instructions. Do all things work 
together for the best to God's servants ? Then hence we may learn the cer- 
tainty of the salvation of God's elect. I take my reason from the text itself 
after this manner. That w'hich nothing can hinder, that is certain ; but the 
Balvation of God's children cannot be hindered ; therefore the salvation of 
God's children is most certain. If anything do or can hinder the saints' 
recovery or perseverance, it is sin ; but to such as are united unto Christ 
by faith, sin is so far from hindering their happiness, that by God's ^over- 
ruling providence it turns to their best good. 

Obs. 2. The second thing which we may gi'ound here for the information 
of our judgment is this : That as we know the providence of God is the cause 


why all tJiinfjs work ior/cther for the best to his children, so we should eye this 
very particular jtrovidcnce in all that ive enjoy, turning the same to our good. 
There is a working hand of God in everything towards us, as we may see 
in the examples of Joh, Joseph, and David, with other of his servants, whose 
present sorrow and hnmiUation was but a means of their future glory and 
exaltation. There is nothing so bad, but he can draw good out of it when 
any evil is intended. God either puts bars and lets- to the execution of it 
against us ; or else limitelh and boundeth the same, both in regard of time 
and measure. The God of spirits hath an influence into the spirits of all 
men, and knows how to take them ofi' from doing us harm. All the strength 
of the creature rests in the great Creator of all things, who if he denies 
concourse,! the arm of their power soon withereth. It cannot but bring 
strong consolation to the soul, to know that in all variety of changes, and 
intercourse of good and bad things, our loving God hath a disposing hand. 
So as all blessings and crosses, all ordinances and graces, nay, our veiy 
falls, 5'ea, Satan himself, with all his instruments, being over-mastered and 
ruled by God, have this injunction upon them, to further God's good intend- 
ment to us, and in no wise hurt us, which should move us to see his dis- 
posing hand in all that befalls us. We owe God this respect, to observe 
his providence in the particular passages of our lives ; considering he is 
our Sovereign, and his will is the rule, and we are to be accountable to 
him as our Judge. We should question our hearts for questioning his care 
in the least kind. So long as God sits at the stern and rules all, we may 
be sure no evil shall betide us that he can hinder [d). 

Obs. '6. Thirdly, Hence we may learn, that there is not two, but one sove- 
reign Head over the whole world, which is plainly proved by this text of Scrip- 
ture. For * all things work together for the best to them that love God ;' 
and things which in themselves are contraries agree together to procure 
their good. Therefore all things whatsoever are overruled by the solo 
power of the Almighty. The devil himself, although he be called ' the god 
of this world,' yet he is at Christ's beck, and could not enter into a few 
Bwine without leave first obtained. He raiseth up hideous storms and 
tempests against the saints, but perisheth himself in the waves at last. 
Persecutions and perils may follow us, but they are all limited in the doing 
of hurt, which plainly demonstrates that there is but one main worker and 
wise disposer of all things. 

Obs. 4. Further, Hence observe, that there is nothing in the ivorld that to 
God's servants is absolutely evil ; because nothing is so ill but some good may 
he raised out of it ; not as it is an evil, but as it is governed and mastered 
by a supreme cause. Sin is of all evils the greatest ; and yet sinful actions 
may produce gracious efi'ects, through God's ordering and guiding the same. 

Obs. 5. Again observe, that a child of God is truly happy in the viidst of 
all misery. To prove this, I reason thus. In what estate soever the child 
of God is, it shall turn to his good ; therefore no affliction can make him 
truly miserable. The proof of this the apostle sets down in his own example : 
' He was poor, yet made many rich ; he sorrowed, yet always rejoiced ; he 
had nothing, yet possessed all things ; he was chastened, and yet not 
killed,' 2 Cor. vi. 10. God's children, although to the world they may 
seem to be miserable, yet having communion and fellowship with him, they 
are always happy. The very worst day of God's child is better than the 
very best day of the wicked. The worst day of St Paul was better to him 
than the best day of Nero was to him ; for the wicked, in the midst of 
* That is, ' hindrances.'— G. t That is, ' concurrence.'— G. 


their happiness, are accursed ; whereas the godly, in the midst of their 
miseries, are blessed. 

This doctrine is a ground of understanding divers other places of Scrip- 
ture, as Ps. xci. 3, the Lord promiseth that he will ' deliver his from the 
snare of the hunter, and from the noisome pestilence ;' and yet ofttimes his 
dear servants are in the hands of the wicked, and taken away by the stroke 
of his judgments, this truth nevertheless remaining firm, that ' all worketh 
together for their best.' So God teacheth us in his word that ho doth make 
a league between his servants and the creatures. But all such expressions 
of his love we must bring to this text, and then they are true, else they 
may seem to be false. ' The plague shall not come near thy dwelling-placej' 
Ps. xci. 10, but only so far forth as it is for thy benefit. The good 
prophet was torn in pieces by a Hon, 1 Kings xiii. 24 ; and sundry holy 
men have received hurt by wild beasts, whose eternal welfare were furthered 
thereby. Therefore this phrase of Scripture, that ' the creatures are in 
league,' is to be understood, not that they have put off their hostile nature, 
but that they have the same issue as those that are at peace with us. 

Here likewise is a direction for us how to pray for eurtlihj bkssitu/s, and 
the removal of temporal judgments. Oftentimes worldly honours and riches 
are snares unto God's children, and temporal chastisements, which we so 
earnestly pray against, work much good unto us. And therefore it falletli 
out that when we pray against temporal calamities, we pray against our 
own good. 

Being therefore afB.ieted, we should desire not absolutely that God would 
remove our troubles, but that he would work his own good pleasure upon 
us thereby. Our prayers for temporal blessings and removal of temporal 
crosses must always be conditional ; for what good will it be for us to come 
out of the fire worse than we were when we went into it ? If, therefore, 
God in his wisdom see it good for us to have affliction, we should not 
desire him absolutely to remove the same till it have done us good. And 
then, ' Lord, deal with us as seems best in thine own eyes.' 

As for such as afiect- neither God nor goodness, let them know that if 
all things work for the best to the saints, then they may forbear their 
successless endeavours which they daily enterprise against them. In going 
about to hurt the godly they do them most good, for God will benefit them 
by their malice. Their wicked practices shall not only be made frustrate, 
but dangerous to themselves. After the chastisement of his servants for 
their good, God will cast the rod into the fire. Men may know whether 
they are ' vessels of mercy ' or no by the use they are put to. The basest 
of people are fit enough to be executioners. It is a miserable wisdom when 
men are wise to work their own ruiu. Do not many spin a fine thread and 
weave a fair web, when by their turnings and devices they turn themselves 
into hell ? WTiatever we get by sin for the present, it will one day prove 
the heaviest business that ever we undertook. 

God is the only monarch of the world, and makes all things and persons 
whatsoever serviceable to his own end and his church's good. He is higher 
than the highest. Satan with all his instruments arc but slaves to the 
Almighty, executioners of his will. Can we think that God's children, who 
are so near and dear to him, shall always be trampled upon by the powers 
of darkness. No, certainly. He is interessedf in all their quarrels, and takes 
their injuries as done to himself. When we can be more subtile than the 
devil, or more strong than God, we may think to thrive against them. He 
* That is, ' choose,' ' love.' — G. f That is, ' interested." — G. 


is a ' wall of fire ' round about his cliuvch, not only to defend and preserve 
it, but to consume all the adversaries thereof. God doth great matters for 
his servants ; he rebukes kings and princes, and ruinates empires for their 
sakes. For the bringing home back again of the Jews, he translated the 
Babylonish empire to the Persians ; and therefore the wicked must take 
heed of attempting anything against God's church : because the harm 
thereof will redound upon their own heads. God delights to take the 
oppressed party's'* part, and serves himself of all his enemies for his people's 
good. They practise against the righteous, and he ' laughs them to scorn.' 
Wicked men cannot do God's children a greater jjleasure than to oppose 
them ; for by this means they help exceedingly to advance them. 

Satan and all his instruments, what get they by their cruelty to the 
saints ? They do but increase their own torment, and do them the more 
good. But this is both against their knowledge and wills. Therefore if 
they be loath to do them any good, let them take heed how they attempt 
any evil against them. 

Use 1. And here let all such be admonished how they provoke God's 
children to cry in their prayers ayainst them. For it is better for the wicked 
that they had all the creatures in heaven and earth against them than the 
poor saints ; for a few of these will more prejudice them than all the world 

Come we now to the grounds of practice hence to be observed. 

TJse 2. Again, Doth God order all ' for the best' to them that love him ? 

Let us not then except ayainst any evil that shall befall us ; for this our 
present cross shall turn to our future comfort. It is the saints' happiness, 
that their best is in working still, till they be complete in heaven. But 
the wicked and men of the world, their worst is always in contriving. Their 
life is bad, their death is worse ; and after death it is worst of all with 
them. God himself, and all under him, work continually for the good of 
his children. Their best is last. Their light groweth on clearer and clearer 
' as the light, until the noonday,' Prov. iv. 18. But the worldly grow 
worser and worser every moment. To them that fear God, sin and sorrow, 
their very worst, is by God's mercies best for them ; ^Yhereas all the best 
of the wicked by abuse turns to their worst. 

Use 3. Observe here the excellency of the saints' comfort, above all other 
comforts whatsoever. The nature of it is this : it must be stronger than 
the grievance of which it is a cordial. And the reason of spiritual comfort 
must be more forcible than any carnal reason can be to undermine it. Now 
what stronger consolation can a man have than to be assured that all 
things, without exception, shall work together for his goodj? But this is 
not all. What a sweet refreshment is it when the soul can say, God will 
either stop me from falling into sin, outwardly by afflictions ; or else subdue 
my corruptions inwardly by his Spirit, that I shall not be overthrown by 
them. He will never suffer me to rot in my sins, but when I do fall, 
will raise me up again. It bears up a Christian's heart, that rather than 
we shall continue in an evil way, God will send some Nathan or other to 
rouse us out of our security. 

Therefore to all thy comforts add this, that God will not only save thee 
at last, but turn all things to the best whilst thou art here. This is the 
highest strain of consolation. It is far stronger to refresh and quicken us 
^han any grievance can be to afflict us. It maketh evil things, in com- 
parison, to seem good ; as, * Moses counted the rebukes of Christ greater 
* Cf. Note, Vol. III. page 9.-0. 


riches than the treasures of Egypt,' Heb. ix. 26. Ho matle more choice 
of ' affliction' than he did of the world's glory. If God bo with us, who 
can be against us. If he be our shepherd, we are sure to lack nothing. 
There is such a force of comfort in salvation, that we will rather choose 
outward evils than to enjoy outward good things. Moses, by faith, seeing 
that outward affliction and shame were knit to salvation, chose these, and 
refused dignity and ease. 

How ought this to stay the soul under all its heavy pressures I Why 
should not'l be patient in sickness, in poverty, in disgraces ; or why should 
I despair at the hour of death ? Am I not under the hand of my God, 
working my good out of every evil ? It is the subtilty of our arch-enemy 
to drive us to a stand, that we may doubt of our conditions, and say with 
Gideon, ' If the Lord be with me, and that I am his child, why is it thus 
with me ?' Judges vi. 13. How is it that all this sorrow and misery hath 
befallen me, and heth so heavy upon my soul ? But our comfort here is, 
that God who turneth all things to our best is stronger than Satan. 

Use 4. Again, Considering all things conduce unto our goods, though in 
appearcDice never so opposite, this comfort ariscth, that if God do so work 
this or that, then I must believe against belief; I must stand firm against 
contraries, my faith must answer his manner of working, and believe that 
God can bring me to honour by shame, and to heaven by hell-gates. For 
if it be his course of deahng, first to cast down and then to lift up, by dis- 
grace to bring his servants to glory, then in all my extremities I must rest 
upon God, who is never nearer unto his, to succour them, than when ho 
seems to be furthest off. When he means to give victory he sufiers us to 
be foiled first, and when he intends to justify a poor sinner he will con- 
demn him first. Let us therefore hope against hope, and desire God in 
our distresses to open our eyes that w^e may see our consolations. _ 

Hagar had a well by her when she was ready to perish for thirst, and 
yet she saw it not ; and Elisha's man had angels to defend him when the 
Aramites* compassed him about, but perceived not the same. So 'the 
angel of the Lord continually pitchcth his tent about the godly,' though 
they are not aware of it ; yea, God is then nearest to us when^we are in 
most straits. Cordials are kept for faintings. When Christ went to cast 
the devil out of a child, he then most raged and tare him. So likewise 
Satan and wicked men most rage when they are nearest to their end and 
destruction. In thy greatest danger, never rest on thy friends, but on 
the Lord, who never standeth nearer and fii'mer to us than when we are 
most perplexed and know not what to do. A distressed soul secth oft no 
comfort in outward things, and therefore retireth unto God, in whom it 
finds whatsoever may make it happy. ' Our strength may fail, and our 
heart may fail,' Ps. xxiv., but God is our portion for ever. When we are 
weak, then we are strong ; and when we are most cast down in ourselves, 
we are nearest to God's helping hand. This carriage of the Almighty 
ought to establish our faith. 

In all cases of extremity we should have a double eye : one to look 
upon our grievances and troubles, and another to look upon the issue and 
event of them. Why do men in time of dangerous sickness take bitter 
physic, which is almost death unto them ? Why do they then undergo 
Buch things as they loathe at other times ? Is it not because they rest upon 
the skill of the physician ? And shall we then in our distresses distrust 
God for our souls, when we will trust a weak and mortal man with our 
♦ That is, tlie Syrians. Cf. 2 Kings vi. 17.-G. 

VOL. V. S 


bodies? If conceit be so strong in earthly things, as indeed it is, then 
faith is much stronger, when it grounds itself upon the truth of the word. 
When God exercises us with poverty or other afflictions, this should teach 
us submission to his providence in any condition, saying, Lord, do with 
me what thou wilt, only let this poor soul be precious in thine eyes ! Thou 
hast promised that howsoever these afflictions lie heavy upon me, yet in 
the end, all shall turn out to my good ; therefore dispose of thy servant at 
thine own pleasure ; I resign all to thee ! 

Here is the rejoicing of a Christian, which makes him cheerfully pass 
through any affliction ; he knows that good is intended in all that befalls 
him. With what alacrity did Joseph say unto his brethren, ' Ye sold me 
hither, but God hath turned it to the best, that I should preserve and 
nourish you all, and save much people alive, who otherwise were like to 
have perished with famine,' Gen. xlv. 5. This made Job so patiently to 
say, ' The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh ; blessed be the name of the 
Lord,' Job i. 21. 

This is the ground of all true contentation,* I have learned, saith St 
Paul, ' in all estates to be content : to be rich and to be poor, to abound and 
to be in want,' Philip, iv. 11 ; and why so ? Whatsoever his estate and 
condition was, God turned it to the best. Shall any man dare to mislike 
of God's allowance ? Doth not he know better what is good for us than 
we can possibly imagine what is good for ourselves ? 

This likewise should teach us not to take offence at the reproach and 
disgrace which is cast upon God's children ; for ' mark the righteous,' 
saith David, ' and behold the upright : the end of that man is peace,' Ps. 
xxxvii. 37. The issue of their trouble is ever quietness. Take not one 
piece of a Christian man's life by itself, but take it altogether, and then 
thou shalt see the truth of this doctrine. To see Joseph in the dungeon 
and in his irons, we haply may be offended, and call God's providence in 
question ; but beholding him in his honour and advancement, we cannot 
but conclude him a happy man. So if we look on Job sitting with sores 
on the dunghill, thei'e is matter of offence ; but to see him restored again, 
and blessed with a greater estate than he had before, this is matter of 
praising God. If we consider of Christ abased, and hanging upon a cross, 
80 there will be scandal ; f but look on him exalted to glory, far above aU 
dignities and powers, and then the scandal is soon taken away. Let us 
therefore lay one thing to another when we eye God's people, and we shall 
see a blessing under their greatest curse. Those things which are contrived 
by man's wdtt may argue great folly if one part be not annexed to the other. 
Therefore look to the whole work towards his servants, and then thou shalt 
never be offended at their condition. 

Use 5. This also is a ground of Chrhtian boldness in Iwhj courses, when a 
man is fully resolved, that come what will come, God will turn all to his 
good. It encourages him cheerfully to go through any difficulty. What is 
the reason of the fearfulness and dastardness of most men, but only this, 
that if we do this or that duty, or abstain not from this or that good action, 
then this cross and this dipleasure by such and such a person will be brought 
upon me. The wise man saith, that ' the fear of man bringeth a snare, 
but he that trusteth in the Lord shall be exalted,' Prov. xxix. 25. Let ua 
not, regarding the fear of man, neglect our duty to God, for he can turn the 
hearts of the kings on the earth to seek the welfare of his poorest creature, 

* That is, 'contentment.' — G. J That is, 'wisdom.' — G. 

t That is ' offence.'— G. 



and make thy very enemies to be thy friends. He that for sinister ends 
will offend his Maker, may well be excluded to the ' gods whom they have 
served,' Judges x. 14. Go to the great men, whose persons you have 
obeyed for advantage, to your riches, to your pleasures, which you have 
loved more than God or goodness : you would not lose a base custom, a 
superfluity for me ; therefore I will not own you now. Such men are more 
impudent than the devil himself, that will claim acquaintance with God at 
last, when they have carried themselves as his enemies all their days. God 
wants not means to maintain his, without being beholden to the devil. He 
hath all help hid in himself, and will then shew it when it shall make most 
for his own glory. He deserves not to live under the protection of a king, 
that will displease him for fear of a subject. The three children in Daniel 
said, ' Know, king, that our God can deliver us out of thy hands ; but if 
he will not, yet, nevertheless, we will not fall down and worship thine 
image,' Dan. iii. 5, scq. ' The righteous are bold as a lion,' saith the wise 
man, Prov. xxviii. 1 ; ' the Lord is his strong tower,' Ps. Ixi. 3. What 
need we fear any creature, when we have him on our side who hath both 
men and devils at his back ? * 

Use 6. And if God turn all things whatsoever to our good, should not ice 
throufjli the ivhole carriage of our lives chiefly aim, at his honour? God 
writes our names in his book, he numbers our hairs, and bottles up our 
tears. f He hath a special care of us. Every good deed we do he writeth 
down to eternity ; yea, if we give but ' a cup of cold water in his name,' 
Mat. X. 42, he taketh notice of it ; and shall not we then take special 
occasion to magnify him in all things ? We pray daily, ' Hallowed be thy 
name,' therefore ought accordingly to observe God's dealing with us. How 
is it possible that we should give him the glory of his mercies, if we never 
observe them ? 

A wicked man considers. This makes for my advantage and this for my 
profit, this tends to my ease and wealth, &c. ; studying how to make 
friends, and please persons in place above him, not respecting God's 
honour and glory in the least kind ; whereas the sincere Christian looks 
on all things as they tend to his best happiness, and therefore forecast 
thus. If I do this or that good, then I shall grow in grace and wisdom and 
knowledge ; but if I neglect it, and be careless of well doing, I shall hurt 
and wound my soul, and break the peace of my conscience. By this com- 
pany and good acquaintance I shall be furthered in holiness, become wiser 
and better in heavenly understanding ; if I fall, they may raise me up, and 
help maintain a gracious frame within me. Where true holiness is, the 
soul is sensible of all advantages and disadvantages of good. An indiffer- 
ency for any compan}' or employment shews a dead heart. 

This is a main difference to distinguish a child of God from a profane 
wretch that only lives to himself. His heart is taken up wholly with the 
world and matters below, whereas the godly are all for thriving in grace 
and increase of godliness. The wicked man considers of things as they 
serve to satisfy his lust ; and if we have better thoughts at any time, it is 
but for a start. But a godly man's aims are always holy, and the strength 
of his soul is put forth that way. He values himself as he stands in rela- 
tion to God and a better life ; and esteems all other things more or less 
as they further or hinder his spiritual growth, and bring peace and | sorrow 
at the last unto him. 

2. But I hasten to the second part of the text, the persons to uhom this 
* Qu. ' beck ' ?— Ed. f Cf. Ps. Ivi. 8.— G. J Qu. ' or' ?— Ed. 


privilcffe helonffs ; that is, ' to them that love God.' And why to them that 
love God ? Because the apostle speaketh of afflictions ; and we know that 
the grace which is most conversant in the saints' sufi'erings is patience, which 
floweth from love. 

Also, for that of all other graces is the first and sweetest. It is the first ; 
for whom we love we are sorry to offend ; and hate whatsoever is contraiy 
to that we alfect.* We rejoice in that we love, and grieve in the absence 

It is the commanding affection of all others, and'setteth the whole man 
sweetly a-work to attain its desire. Love makes us forward and zealous 
Christians. All the inward worship of God is in the affections ; as, Thou 
shalt rejoice in no God but me, and fear no God but me. All the com- 
mandments of God are brought by Christ to this duty. 

Again, Love hath a special part in this privilege of bringing all things to 
work for our good. For when we love God, we will make the best use of 
everything which we suffer or do, if we love God and eye his glory therein. 
Love makes any burden easy. It makes us studious of pleasing the party 
loved ; as we say in the proverb, ' Love me, and do with me what you will.' 
Love is full of inventions. It studies complacency, and sets the soul a-work 
to honour God in all things. 

In that the apostle saith, ' to them that love God,' and not to the chil- 
dren or servants of God, we may observe, that Christianity is not a bare 
title, but it requireth some qualification. Therefore the Scriptures, when 
they describe a saint on earth, do not usually say, ' the child of God,' but 
they set him forth by some holy affections or actions wrought in him ; as 
such as love God, or fear God, and ' walk in his ways ;' hereby shewing 
that religion is not a matter of compliment, but a real and holy endeavour 
to please the Lord ; and although the Scriptures do name but some one 
particular affection, yet it is all one as if they had named all ; for where 
one is in truth, there all follows. 

Again, In that the apostle here ascribes privileges to those only that are 
thus qualified, we must take heed in applying the promises of God and 
these sweet consolations, that we be such persons to whom of right they 
do belong ; ' for all things work for the best,' not to every one, but to such 
as * love God.' We must not therefore preach comfort to all, but must first 
labour to make men capable of it. To this end, 

1. First, We will shew the nature of this love. 

2. Secondly, The exercises of it, and directions unto it. 

3. Thirdly, Some incitements to this holy affection. 

1. The ground of love is a considering of God as our own God in the 
covenant of grace, and an acknowledging of ourselves to be his peculiar 
children in Christ Jesus ; when we can say as the spouse in the Canticles, 
' I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine,' ii. 16. This is a loving of 
God, not as the God of nature only, but as ours peculiar by grace. This 
union of love, which knits us to Christ, implieth another union by faith 
first, which is a cleaving to God as my God, and to Christ as my Christ ; 
whence issues a second conjunction or cleaving to him in love, as my 
Saviour, my husband, and my head. 

To come to the nature of this grace, and then to the working of it. The 
nature of love is seen in four things : 

1. In admiring of some secret good in the thing beloved, which stirs up 
the soul to make out for it. 

* That is, 'love,' 'choose.' — Q. 



2. In a studionsncss of the contentation* of the person beloved. 

3. In a desire of union and fellowship with the person we affect.f 

4. In a resting and solacing of ourselves in the thing we love. 

By these let us examine ourselves whether we have the true love of God 
or no. For it concerns us much to have this grace. It will distinguish 
us from all others, who fear him not. 

1. First, Our love to Christ cometh 

(1.) From the hif/h esteem of the good things we see in him. But how 
shall we know whether that we have this admiring of the good things we 
Bee in God and in his word and children ? We shall know it by our 
choice ; and our choice follows our judgment. Would we know whether 
our judgment be good ? See what do we choose, especially when things of 
the world and God come together. And here we want not examples to 
guide us. The question was, Whether that Moses should still choose to 
live in Pharaoh's court and be accounted his son-in-law, or else depart and 
sutler adversity with God's children. Now Moses, by sound judgment, had 
an high esteem of the excellency and privileges of the saints ; and therefore 
chose rather to endure afflictions ' than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a 
season,' Heb. xi. 25. Let us then see whether we can be contented to part 
with our preferment or pleasure for God or no. And whether we do 
esteem the rebukes of Christ greater riches than the treasures of the world : 
whether we can lay down our lives and liberties at Christ's feet, and 
gladly want all, so we may enjoy him. If it be so with us, our estate is 

(2.) Again, Let us see whether We have a right prizing of the good things 
in God. Do we delight to speak much and often of Christ and the benefitg 
we receive by him ? How was St Paul's heart enlarged, and his tongue full 
of heavenly eloquence, in setting forth the ' unspeakable mercies of God,' 
which we have by Christ Jesus our Lord. If ' God be on our side, who 
can be against us ?' saith he ; ' What shall separate us from the love of 
Christ ;' ' shall tribulation, shall anguish and affliction ? I am persuaded 
that neither death, nor life, nor any other thing can do it,' Rom. viii. 38. 

(3.) Another sign to know whether we have a secret admiration of the 
good things we see in God is this, if u-e do undervahte all things else for 
Christ. Worldly men are ever admiring of the things below, accounting 
such men happy and blessed that abound most therein. Therefore there is 
nothing that doth more truly try a man than this. The soul that sees a 
vanity in the things beneath, and can rejoice in God only as his true riches, 
is in a good condition. Where there is a true judgment of God and reli- 
gion, the soul of that man will never stoop to the creature ; the soul so 
rejoiceth in God, as that it will not yield itself to any other. Adam and 
Eve, in their innoeency, were both naked and were not ashamed. One 
reason might be, because their thoughts were taken up with higher matters. 
In heaven we shall not be ashamed of things we now are ashamed of. A 
Christian soul is so ravished with the enjoying of God, that it mindeth 
almost nothing but him. 

2. The second branch in love is a desire to do all things, (1.) to the con- 
tent of the partgl beloved. Our love to God will frame us to the obedience 
of his will. Obedience is the proof of love : * If ye love me,' saith Christ, 
' keep my commandments,' John xv. 10. If we love God, we will pray for 
the enlarging of his kingdom. Where love is kindled in any heart, there 

* That is, ' contentment.'— G. % Cf. foot note in Vol. III. page 9.— G. 

t That is, ' love.' — G. 


is a care to be approved of him whom we so love. This makes our obe- 
dience general to all God's commandments, in all places and all things what- 
soever. It makes us give our inwards to God, serving him with the soul 
and spirit. 

Those therefore that nourish unclean hearts within them, and think it 
enough to abstain from the outward act of evil, love not the Lord sincerely. 
The devil himself will do outward things as readily as you ; he will confess 
Christ to be the Sou of God, and say, ' Why art thou come to torment me 
before my time ? ' Matt. viii. 29. So that if thou dost outwardly only con- 
fess God, what dost thou more than the devil ? In outward duties, without 
sincerity, there is no love. You will pray ; the devil will do as much. The 
devil hath a bad end in good actions. So there are many that come to 
church, and make show of religion, to cloak their evil courses. But such 
poor wretches, however they are pleased with shadows, are little better 
than Satan himself. 

(2.) Again, If we be desirous to content him whom we love, then tvill we 
suffer anything for his sake. Therefore the apostles went away ' rejoicing, 
and accounted it their glory that they were esteemed worthy to sutler hard- 
ship for Christ,' Acts v. 41. And David, for ' dancing l3efore the ark,' 
being by Michal mocked, saith, ' I will yet be more vile for my God,' 
2 Sam. vi. 22. He cared not for any reproach that could happen to him 
in a good way. Yea, this will make us ' zealous in his truth.' He that 
hath no zeal hath no love. If our heai'ts rise not when God is dishonoured, 
what love have we to him ? Is God's glory and the church's welfare dear 
to us ? It is a sign we love him. But can we see those things go back- 
ward and have no zeal, nor be anything affected therewith, surely then we 
have no love. 

3. Again, if we have a true love to God, then 

(1.) Have ive a desire of union and communion uith him. We will be 
much in meditating of him, in speaking to him and conferring with him. 
Those therefore that go on from day to day, without private speeches with 
God, or solacing of their souls in him, what aifection have they to him ? 
Love is communicative ; and what desire of communion can that soul have 
that lives a stranger to his Maker ? Can we say we love one with whom 
we never confer or speak to any purpose ? 

(2.) Again, If we love a man, iveiciU advise with him, especially in matters 
of moment. So if we love God we will take counsel of him in his word, for 
the guidance of our lives and stablishing our consciences. If we advise not 
with God, it is a sign that we either think he doth not regard us, or else 
that we count him not worthy to be counselled by. 

(3.) Another sign is, to examine what desire ice have to he dissolved, and 
to be u-ith Christ. Do we love his appearing to judgment ? and are we now 
fit for his coming ? Surely then it is a plain sign that our love is fixed and 
set upon him ; so much as we do fail of this desire, so much we fail in love 
to Christ. What was the reason that the people under the law were so 
much afraid at the appearing of an angel unto them ? Was it not this, that 
they were not fitted and prepared for God ? A man may be a good Chris- 
tian, and yet not at all times willing to die ; for as eyes that are sore cannot 
always endure the light, so a soul galled with sin desires not to hear of the 
day of judgment: yet ought w^e to thirst after it. 

(4.) Another sign of this grace is our eager and hungry desire after God, 
when with David we can say, ' God, my heai't panteth after thee, as the 
hart panteth after the brooks of waters,' Ps. xlii. 1, when a soul is never 



at rest till he enjoys his Maker, but cries out still, ' when shall I appear 
in his pi'csence !' it is a good sign, ver. 2. 

4. The last branch or property is, resting and quieting ourselves in the love 
of God above all things irhatsoever, saying with David, ' AVhom have I in 
heaven or in earth besides thee ? or what do I esteem in comparison of thee ?' 
Ps. Ixxiii. 25 ; let me enjoy but ' the light of thy countenance, and it suffices 
me,' Ps. iv. 6. Demand therefore of thine own heart, what the things are 
that trouble thee most ? and what is the cause of thy sorrow and disquiet- 
ments ? wheth